New Automotive Advertising Strategy: Hook 'Em Really, Really Young

from the future-buyers-galore dept

With captive audience advertising dying out (slowly, in some cases), advertisers have increasingly been adopting new strategies to convince people to buy their products. The automotive industry has often been the most creative in experimenting. From Lexus' plans (nearly six years ago!) to let people make their own commercials to Lexus (again) doing a contest with TiVo to get people to watch commercials to BMWfilms to Honda's famous cog commercial -- there have been tons of experiments. It appears that Toyota (which, of course, is part of the same family as Lexus) is now trying to hook kids at a very young age -- well before they're driving. For years, automakers have been putting their cars in video games, but those games tend to be car racing video games (makes sense, right?). Toyota, though, is shooting for an even younger demographic, by dumping references to their Scion brand all over a children's "interactive community" with the belief that it can (a) get kids to influence their parents' car buying choices or (b) get the kids hooked on the brand at a very early age. In fact, Toyota claims that the effort is already a success -- with the word Scion being mentioned thousands of times in chatrooms and "virtual Scions" being bought plenty of times within the community. Of course, you might also say that it's a success in teaching kids that product placement should be expected absolutely everywhere -- even supposedly educational community websites.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Stephen, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 3:37am

    RE: Advert Strategy

    Good, Scions are pretty spiffy cars, although as a family car, they are a bit small. But I suppose thats what we are moving towards. If they can do it across the pond,we can do it here!

    --Virginia, USA

     

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  2.  
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    Dosquatch, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 4:46am

    Panning for gold

    I'm sure this will be money well spent on Toyota's part. Today's 6 year old is gonna be all over a brand new Scion come 2016. The evidence is out there - just look how GM's "Geo" nameplate is dominating the market!

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Bum, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 4:53am

    No No No No

    This focus on ground cars is really stupid. If economies of scale where applied to the aero industry instead of the automotive industry we would all be flying around and not wasting trillions on building highways and roads. After all Nasa did develop an air traffic control system for this very concept.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 5:04am

    Toyonese

    Although English language media portrays Toyota in glowing terms, Toyota has been having a lot of recalls in Japan recently, e.g. steering wheels that stop working.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    fred, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 6:23am

    Scions

    I don't see what the big deal about Scions are. It looks like that were designed by an enginer who only had a ruler. I mean seriously - i've seen cars made out of legos that have better curves.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    IT Techie, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 7:35am

    Re: No No No No

    Now air travel would be nice, but welcome 9/11 and tell me again that the gov't will let us all drive in the sky.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Dosquatch, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 7:37am

    Re: Scions

    I don't see what the big deal about Scions are.

    The "big deal" is that Scion is the first official acceptance to the street mod trend. The cars are delivered to the dealership in a below bare-bones state (not even a radio, just a hole in the dash) with the intention of every geegaw, widget, and go-fast goodie being a dealer option. Basically, you get to start with a clean slate and have the dealership build you exactly the car you want, with true haggle-free a-la-carte pricing.

    In principle, I suppose, an automotive manufacturer recognizing that your car should be your car, reflective of your specific needs and tastes is a Good Thing. In practice, I fear that this is just a fad and that Scion will devolve into more standard fare, if not vanish completely (see my comment above).

    In actual real-live living color... I just don't like the things and tend to agree with you.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Dosquatch, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: No No No No

    Now air travel would be nice, but welcome 9/11 and [trim]

    Terrorism? Really? Terrorism is NOT the major concern here, at least not from a "what's likely to actually happen to you" point of view.

    Terrorism happens. It is not a good thing. But, all things considered, I have never been in a building that has been blown up, flown into, or driven into. I have never been hijacked on a flight. I have never been held hostage in a bank. I have never been sent strange powder in the mail. I've never had to fight of snakes on the m*7h3r f&c2!ng plane. I'd think it a safe bet that none of the above has ever happened to you, either.

    However, I have been run into the median by a city bus. And onto the shoulder by a tractor-trailer. And into a ditch by a mechanical failure. I've been rear-ended in traffic several times by people rubber-necking at somebody else who has been rear-ended.

    When I strap into my car, those are the things I worry about, not some vague possibility of "terrorism". Given the track record of people driving in 2D, I just can't imagine unleashing a 3rd dimension into the works, if for no other reason than the relative difficulty of pulling over to the side of the cloud at 20,000ft to discuss a fender-bender.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Tyshaun, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 8:11am

    I'd rather this than...

    I'd rather have car companies brainwashing kids than cigarette companies.

    In all honesty, this isn't really a new trend, just a new implementation. How many of us 30 somethings wanted a car that looked like KITT from knight rider or for the slightly older crowd a batmobile?

    In the US anyway, cars are firmly embedded in our minds as status symbols from a very early age and it's one of the few things I don't have a problem with advertisers pushing.

    Like I said better cars than calorie ladden junk food, cigarettes, or porn as embedded advertising fare.

     

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  10.  
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    Grumpy Old Man, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 8:44am

    Re: Re: Re: No No No No

    quote "However, I have been run into the median by a city bus. And onto the shoulder by a tractor-trailer. And into a ditch by a mechanical failure. I've been rear-ended in traffic several times by people rubber-necking at somebody else who has been rear-ended." is why you will not have flying cars in the forseeable future. I rear end you, or you have a mechanical failure in your flying car we are adding falling hundreds of feet to the damage.

    GOM

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Bassett, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 8:53am

    Re: RE: Advert Strategy

    Scion design sucks! They are for 16 year old kids... I HOPE you don't own one!

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    ScionGirls.com, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 9:13am

    scion enthusiasts

    Technically speaking, there is only one "true" Scion... the tC... the other two models are rebadged toyotas that had been sold in Japan and parts of asia. Even the tC was designed and produced within about a year, which is very rare in the automotive industry... Toyota also hardly spends money on tv, radio and other media ads and the cars (especially tC) are selling like hotcakes. So what does all this mean? The young demographic is all about branding, self expression through customizing and exclusivity. This isnt really anything new, everyone wants to fit in and be a part of something cool and/or exclusive as well as feel like an individual at the same time. The cars have quickly gained a large following of fans online on sites like http://www.sciongirls.com and http://www.scionlife.com. Clubs have popped up all over the country. So the question is can this work in other countries or is this a truely American concept?

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Mark, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 9:15am

    Makes sense

    The brands that intruded on my adolescent consciousness -- Nike, Taco Time, Coca Cola, the NFL -- are still knocking around in my head today, thirty years later. Leaving an imprint during the formative years can foster a lifelong devotion (or at least a guilty pleasure fondness, as with my taste for Taco Time's crispy meat burritos ... mmmm....). It's maybe a little sinister and manipulative, but it's much less evil than Joe Camel.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Mikester, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 9:38am

    Re: I'd rather this than...

    I'd rather have car companies brainwashing kids than cigarette companies.


    .. or worse, the RIAA/MPAA. Oops, that's already happening too! :-(

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Keybored, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 9:42am

    Re: Makes sense

    How dare you refer to Joe Camel as evil. May the fleas of a thousand Joe Camels infest your arm pits!

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    nunya_bidness, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 9:59am

    Re: I'd rather this than...

    For the record the story is about advertising stratigy, and GM did not put cars in the show for product placement. In fact GM did not want its car in the show, it was the teamsters that "let" the production staff of Knight Rider "have" six cars off the assembly line, and the Batmobile was a one of a kind custom that most people would not recognize as a Pontiac. But I agree anything is better than cigarettes.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2006 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: Scions

    I agree with you completely on that statement. People have a need to personalize the things they spend their money on. I've watched Scion go from something snickered at by a lot of people with the first commercials to an I can't go from A to B without seeing a dozen of them.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2006 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Scions

    automotive: They are in close agreement with you

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    RICK THE STICK, Feb 14th, 2007 @ 9:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: No No No No

    Get a life you losers!

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    tom, May 24th, 2009 @ 12:19am

    I think the functions of these cars are getting better day by day and may be on top after sometime.

    -----------------------

    tom

    motorcycle transport

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    joshsmith (profile), Jun 14th, 2009 @ 10:14pm

    With captive audience advertising dying out (slowly, in some cases), advertisers have increasingly been adopting new strategies to convince people to buy their products. The automotive industry has often been the most creative in experimenting. From Lexus’ plans (nearly six years ago!) to let people make their own commercials to Lexus (again) doing a contest with TiVo to get people to watch commercials to BMWfilms to Honda’s famous cog commercial — there have been tons of experiments. It appears that Toyota (which, of course, is part of the same family as Lexus) is now trying to hook kids at a very young age — well before they’re driving. For years, automakers have been putting their cars in video games, but those games tend to be car racing video games (makes sense, right?). Toyota, though, is shooting for an even younger demographic, by dumping references to their Scion brand all over a children’s “interactive community” with the belief that it can (a) get kids to influence their parents’ car buying choices or (b) get the kids hooked on the brand at a very early age. In fact, Toyota claims that the effort is already a success — with the word Scion being mentioned thousands of times in chatrooms and “virtual Scions” being bought plenty of times within the community. Of course, you might also say that it’s a success in teaching kids that product placement should be expected absolutely everywhere — even supposedly educational community websites. suzuki grand vitara

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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