"We see the Asian-American community as very media-savvy, very strong, and they are a good buyer base within the US for Toyota products," he said. "We're there supporting what they are interested in, and we're trying to support it in a way that doesn't take away from [the experience]."
At the festivals, which kicked off in San Francisco in March and will run through the San Diego festival in October, Toyota will provide free shuttle service to various screening sites, host parties and events, and offer freebies like popcorn and Toyota-branded key chains. Online, Toyota oversees DirectorsChairSite.com, which includes information about the festivals, interviews with directors and producers, and reviews of the films.
"From the PR front, we don't go over the top with it. We've always tried to keep everything really organic," Harp said. Toyota is working with InterTrend Communications, its AOR for Asian-American advertising and marketing, and, Harp added, "we're just now, from a PR front, pushing them a bit more."