Toyota Trades Swag for Social Currency
Scion was facing an interesting challenge with its auto show activations that was a mix of both good and bad. The brand had earned a reputation for having the best swag on the show floor (the good), but it found that consumers were coming in to the experience to grab items without interacting with product specialists (the bad).
So, to boost the possibilities for engagement on-site and, well, make consumers work for the goodies a little harder, Scion decided to leverage Instagram and a little social currency with two first-ever NFC-enabled Instagram-powered vending machines. The two machines were activated at the New York City, Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles auto shows. Hardware involved a vending machine with a 32-inch video screen, integrated PC and a custom-fabricated door designed with cool sketch-style graphics.
At each machine, consumers were encouraged to take an image in the exhibit and post it to their Instagram account with hashtag #ScionSwagDTW. The image instantly appeared on the tablet attached to the Scion Swag Machine, along with a personalized “Thank You” message as their free gift was dispensed to the reward bin. From there, the images were projected onto the 80-foot screen “Master Dashboard” display in the Scion experience, accompanying real-time tweets, call-to-action videos and real-time location-based weather. Alternatively, consumers could tap their NFC-enabled phone to trigger a gift dispense as well.
The exhibit also featured “Paper Shapers” Scion cars. Created by renowned paper artist Shin Tanaka, the exercise allowed guests to assembly their own Origami-style keepsakes. Dwell time? Boom. Instagram-worthy? You bet.
Ultimately, though, Scion wanted to increase brand awareness on social media and demonstrate a new vision for the brand with a fresh exhibit space and an original approach that would complement its new line-up of youth-oriented vehicles. And it wanted to leverage a social platform that would reach its target customer—self-starter millennial entrepreneurs, a notoriously distracted, but tech-savvy and connected demographic that loves to share experiences. A demographic that also isn’t buying cars as frequently, if at all, as prior generations.
Scion recognized that the different social platforms lend themselves to different types of uses. Instagram is all about visuals, and it doesn’t require as much narrative as, say, Facebook or Twitter. Toyota leveraged this fact to the max with a snapshot worthy environment chock full of ways to increase digital reach.
Initial results from the four markets revealed more than 20,000 Instagram and NFC impressions, and counting. But there were a couple of other benefits to the strategy: almost any prize that could fit into the machine could be dispensed, and that it was easy to install and operate. Once the software is turned on, the machine doesn’t need any direct interaction from staff leaving time for specialists to make more human connections. #win.