Back to IndieWire

Idris Elba Takes The Lead In ‘Only The Name Remains’ Avalon Campaign (His 007 Audition?)

Idris Elba Takes The Lead In 'Only The Name Remains' Avalon Campaign (His 007 Audition?)

Idris Elba takes on the lead role in a dramatic, spy-themed advertising campaign for the 2013 Toyota Avalon, titled Only the Name Remains.

It’s the first-ever TV commercial for Elba, by the way, which was created in collaboration with Burrell Communications

Directed by filmmaker Antony Hoffman, Only the Name Remains begins with 3 somewhat suspenseful TV spots that follow Elba’s secret agent character on the run from an old enemy, taking his Avalon on a city-wide adventure. 

The third and final spot in the television series ends with a cliffhanger, directing the audience to watch the conclusion at

‘Only the Name Remains’ complements the sleek and stylish design of the all-new Avalon with the secret agent storyline,” stated David Chung, National Manager, Targeted Advertising and Strategy for Toyota.

We developed the concept for ‘Only the Name Remains’ by tapping into the interests of African American consumers and are thrilled with the final product,” said Lewis Williams, Chief Creative Officer, Burrell Communications Group. “Our goal was to help introduce the radically new 2013 Toyota Avalon and at the same time take the audience on a memorable cinematic adventure.

So, you tell me, as African Americans, does the campaign do anything for you, since you are its target audience? 

As for my suggestion that it’s Elba’s audition for James Bond (which he’s been rumored to be a takeover candidate for after Daniel Craig’s contractual obligations end), well, no, it’s not. But you get to see him in “secret/spy agent” mode for about a minute or two.

Burrell has been the African American agency-of-record for Toyota since 2001.

Watch the 3 TV spots below, and then head over to for the conclusion, where you take over the wheel:

This Article is related to: News and tagged


Donald Rouse

New form of advertising. Great, I love it! Channeling Mr. Stringer Bell……….. Please come back….


Good to see Idris, he plays an effective and outstanding role on Luther ,..what a site it would be to see him as the next 007,,..,although, I feel I have better chance at losing 100 lbs,,.., but it sure would be nice to see it!


That's the gorgeous Nadine Ellis from BET's "Let's Stay Together".
These 2 make quite an attractive pair! I see this turning into an action-packed film!
No, NOT a James Bond film but something Elba can call his own that eventually turns into a franchise like Bond.
Elba's accent….(ear-gasm)


"First ever commercial?"

If I'm not mistaken Elba was a part of the Tanqueray Print and TV ads not too long ago.

Either way this is a dope segue for him, especially with Pacific Rim this summer and Luther scheduled for a return to the tube.


Love the title of the campaign.


Sorry… hit the space bar during the video playback to pause it. Then you're looking her dead in the face as long as you want to. Anyway, great to see Big Driis the Londoner building up his action hero cred. For the first "Black Bond," I'd prefer Adrian Lester link:


Who is the lucky lady in the passenger seat? Well, I guess she was lucky until she was accused of setting up" Idris. *Sigh*

It's great to hear that Burrell is an African American company.

The all new Avalon 2013: For those who are too sexy to take a cab.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *