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Toyota sparks customized storytelling via 100,000 targeted video ads

Working with 100 interchangeable clips, Toyota is reaching Facebook users with video ads for the RAV4 that are customized for each viewer, resulting in more than 100,000 different spots. 

The campaign uses data to scale personalization, with each spot built from three clips pulled from the collection of 100 interchangeable clips to reflect a Facebook user?s specific interests while also highlighting the RAV4?s product attributes. The campaign is an example of how savvy marketers are looking to create content that addresses the unique characteristics of mobile and social.   

?The majority of Facebook consumption is done through mobile devices,? said Chris Pierantozzi, creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi LA. ?So we crafted a campaign that took into the considerations of not just the platform, but also the delivery mechanism.
?Everyone is unique,? he said. ?So why tell everyone the same thing. 

?With this program, Saatchi created custom-tailored content for potential RAV4 Hybrid buyers. Personalizing content is the key to creating advertising that people respond to, and there?s no social platform that understands their customers better than Facebook.?

Customized storytelling
The RAV4 campaign, which also includes typically broadcast spots, was created with Saatchi & Saatchi LA and features actor James Marsden. 

The Facebook videos for the effort are built from a collection of 100 interchangeable vignettes, each between 15 and 25 seconds long. 

To create so many videos, Saatchi & Saatchi LA partnered with Cloneless Media, a VFX and post-production platform company that has created a technology that accelerates broadcast-quality post-production and automates creative versioning. 

As a result, Toyota is able deliver spots that share some aspects while also addressing the interests of the viewer with customized content based on their Facebook history. Some of the themes evident in the different spots include technology, adventure and style and shopping. 

The copy accompanying the ads reinforces the customization. For example, the copy for one ad reads: ?You?re stylish and tech-savvy, just like the all-new RAV4 Hybrid."

Personalization at scale
The campaign also serves social videos on Twitter?s new auto-play video unit, positioning the RAV4 Hybrid as capable of doing everything a driver would want it to do.

Customized Facebook video ads are just the latest example of how Toyota continues to push mobile marketing forward. 

In November, Toyota paired a secret emoji innovation on Twitter with a contest to band together sports team fans in a show of support (see story). 

Last winter, Toyota was the first automaker to leverage technology enabling television viewers to interact with an ad using a mobile device or their remote control (see story)

The new RAV4 campaign was a significant effort from an operational standpoint. 

?It was a huge undertaking to pull this off behind-the-scenes, but we were able to do it with the help of our editing partner, Cloneless Media,? Mr. Pierantozzi said. ?They were able to accelerate broadcast-quality post-production and automate the different combinations of stories to intelligently edit and deliver the spots. 

?Then, through an extensive review process, we culled the best ones to go live with,? he said. ?From a writing and production standpoint, we shot 100 scenes in one day to develop 100 interchangeable clips to get to the total 100,000 ads. 

?The extensive script-writing was developed in a way that allowed for a constant and clear narrative through a wide range of clips.?