- Toyota is unveiling “Serious Play,” the new campaign for its 2019 Avalon sedan, which includes TV spots, digital, audio and print elements, the automaker announced via news release.
- The campaign, which is projected to reach 3.1 billion impressions, includes integrated media partnerships such as Pinterest Pincodes, Discovery, Reddit/WBUR’s “Endless Thread” podcast series and others. Print ads will run in publications, including Esquire, Conde Nast Traveler, Food & Wine and Architectural Digest. The campaign was developed in partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi and Burrell Communications.
- The 30-second TV spots, titled “Let’s Race,” “Trojan Horse” and “Catch Me If You Can,” were created using “multicultural insights” and are targeting a “transcultural audience,” according to the release. The campaign also includes a series of digital videos. The TV commercials will air during targeted cable programming across NBCU, Fox, Viacom, Turner and Discovery cable networks. They will also air in theaters with CineMedia.
Toyota is focusing its "Series Play" multi-channel campaign around themes of adventure and spontaneity in an attempt to energize the perception of its sedan models. The campaign is part of Toyota’s broader strategy to put more emotion into its marketing, as sedans are often perceived as boring. Playing up the playfulness of the Avalon could be an effective strategy in targeting millennials, who aren’t buying as many cars as older generations but also are more likely to let experiences or lifestyles drive their purchases.
Other marketing efforts focused on lifestyle and entertainment have helped Toyota boost purchase intent and engagement among millennials. Toyota partnered with Oath last summer to live stream four music festivals and other content and generated 83 million collective views, a 107% increase over the previous year, and saw a 23% lift in consideration to buy a Toyota among millenials in the market for a new vehicle.
By incorporating digital elements and media partnerships, Toyota is recognizing that TV spots alone are no longer enough to reach younger consumers. Embracing Pinterest Pincodes is a solid strategy for building brand awareness and potentially encouraging sales among millennials, the platform’s main demographic. Many millennials say Pinterest helps them find products, connect with brands and get product recommendations. Pinterest unveiled Pincodes in November to deliver branded boards when users point their smartphone cameras at code icons, and more brands are seeing potential in the tool, including automaker Kia, which used Pincodes at its LA Auto Show exhibit and in a print ad in Real Simple magazine.
Toyota is also the latest brand to tap into the growing popularity of podcasts to reach consumers on mobile devises and across different platforms. American Express added a heavy podcast push to its latest campaign, for example. U.S. podcast ad revenue reached an estimated $314 million in 2017, an 86% increase over 2016, according to Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC research. Podcasts are forecast to reach $659 million by 2020, a 110% increase form 2017.