Toyota Makes One-to-One Connections with Gen Y
Toyota stayed low and under the radar with a youth-targeted retail program for Scion. Eschewing traditional marketing for personal one-to-one connections, Toyota launched Behind the Wheel to foster a conversation with Gen Y consumers that was real but not rushed, welcomed but not forced, and a catalyst for ongoing communications.
The campaign toured 21 markets with test-drive events set up outside hip, trendy retail stores in each city. Pre-production teams were advanced to each city to locate and partner up with three leading retailers in each hood—not big-box chains, think Fred 62 Café and True Clothing. The effort brought six vehicles to each event, four that consumers could take out for test drives and two static vehicles.
The ethnically-diverse, pierced, tattooed, dreadlocked twentysomething field crew played the part well as they invited consumers to take a test drive in exchange for $15 gift certificates from the retail partners.
While many drive programs transport test vehicles between cities on enclosed semis or specialty haulers. Behind the Wheel vehicles were driven from place to place, becoming a moving billboard through small towns across the U.S. The goal of putting 1,300 targeted Gen Y consumers behind the wheel of a Scion had been surpassed by the 13th market; and 27 percent of respondents asked to be contacted by a dealer.