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Toyota builds ties with TV viewers via mobile-enabled interactive ad

Toyota is the first automaker to leverage technology enabling television viewers to interact with an ad using a mobile device or their remote control as the brand looks to strengthen relationships with consumers increasingly interested in multi-screen experiences. 

Using Delivery Agent?s ShopTV platform, Toyota is including an interactive menu in a new ad for the 2015 Camry, with viewers able to use their remote control to browse the car?s features on screen or have information sent to their mobile device while they continue to watch. Results from Delivery Agents? previous brand partnerships show that much of the engagement for interactive ads takes place on mobile devices. 

?Toyota is always looking for innovative and organic ways to reach consumers,? said Dionne Colvin-Lovely, national director of traditional and digital media at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Torrance, CA. ?By partnering with Delivery Agent, we are able to showcase the Camry?s features through connected devices and smart TVs to give consumers the opportunity to engage with our content from their televisions. 

?It?s a unique way to bridge digital and broadcast media,? she said. ?With mobile as a component of our t-commerce activation, it enables us to move consumers through the purchase funnel, expanding our campaign from a massive brand push to a brand consideration campaign. 

?The information sent to the mobile device lives beyond our 30-second spot and allows consumers to engage within their own timeline.?

Second-screen experiences
TV viewers watching Toyota?s ad campaign, ?One Bold Choice Leads to Another,? will also be able to use Delivery Agent?s ShopTV app available on connected devices from Samsung, LG and Roku to explore the new Camry?s features. 

Viewers who choose to explore the Camry from their phones can enter their mobile phone number to receive a text with a link. Clicking on the link brings them to an experience where they build a Camry with the features they want and receive a quote. 

Delivery Agent?s platform is designed to make TV viewing, which is typically a passive experience, more interactive. 

The growth of second-screen viewing supports that consumers are looking for ways to engage with the content they are viewing on TV as they increasingly comment on social media about a show or search for items similar to what they favorite characters are wearing from their smartphones. 

While Delivery Agent provides a number of ways for consumers to engage with TV ads, it has found that smartphones are often the device of choice. 

For example, Delivery Agent helped make the halftime show for this year?s Super Bowl game shoppable, with viewers able to shop an item worn by performer Katy Perry (see story). 

Results from that effort reveal that 36 percent of engagements happened from a smartphone and 36 percent from the TV. Additionally, 10 percent engaged via a tablet and 18 percent on desktop.   

Interacting with ads
New research from Delivery Agent conducted by Nielsen supports the idea that consumers are interested in engaging in commerce and associated activities through their connected devices. 

Nielsen surveyed 1,623 adults in the United States who have a TV, video game console, streaming media player, DVR or DVD connected to the Internet and showed them both interactive and non-interactive ads.

A majority of respondents agreed they would be interested in using their TV remote to interact with products featured in commercials and programs. 

For example, 70 percent of those in the 18 to 34 and 35 to 49 age brackets would be interested in having a coupon sent to their mobile phone or email address while watching TV commercials. 

Other findings include that respondents who were exposed to an interactive version of a commercial were more likely to correctly identify the product featured in the ad. 

Toyota revs up
Toyota?s new interactive TV ad is the latest example of how the brand is embracing digital and technology to take its marketing efforts to the next level. 

In fact, a report from AdTheorent last year named Toyota one of the top three auto brands leveraging mobile for engagement (see story). 

In late 2014, Toyota leveraged mobile native ads in an integrated, cross-screen campaign around fantasy football that included an on-site experience at Levi?s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers (see story). 

Last fall, Toyota used Apple?s iAd mobile advertising platform to provide users of the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with a 360-degree view of the interior of the 2015 Camry embedded in mobile applications and Web sites (see story). 

?The limitations the auto industry faces with television advertising are not dissimilar from what other sectors encounter - and what our ShopTV platform was built to solve,? said Mike Fitzsimmons, CEO of Delivery Agent, San Francisco. ?Our goal is to enable interactivity from an ad in order to take the friction out of the engagement and buying process and, at that same time, provide a brand with valuable data that allows for the evolution and optimization of a campaign. 

?As we are in a multi-screen world, with a reported 84 percent of smartphone and tablet owners using their devices as a second-screen while watching TV, our platform allows the t-commerce consumer journey to begin on the TV screen via remote control and then pushes the user to whatever device they select in order to engage and transact,? he said. ?Our ShopTV platform enables engagement and/or purchase synchronously with broadcast from a remote control, PC or smart phone/tablet.?

Final Take
?Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York