Toyota Local Advertising: Social Media vs TV Ads

Let's go placesToyota’s recent advertising campaigns have increasingly focused on locally targeted advertising, first tested by the company with their “Let’s Go Places” campaign.

Still the slogan in use in their advertising today, the campaign is designed to invite people to be more curious in their everyday lives, by jumping in their Camry or Corolla and exploring the world around them.

A typical TV ad for this campaign shows the Toyota Camry leaving a suburban driveway for adventures in San Francisco, New Orleans, and other picturesque and exciting locations all over the USA. The voice-over reminds us that “it’s all one road”, emphasizing the idea that your car gives you the freedom to explore wherever you wish to travel.

While the mainstream television advertising targets the broader US market, Toyota have chosen to customize their online advertising to be more relevant and specific to the area in which it is viewed.

Toyota’s Focus on Local Targeting

Toyota has always been one of the pioneering brands to experiment with geographically targeted and mobile advertising, led by their experienced ad agency, Saatchi and Saatchi LA.

One of their earlier successful local ads in 2014 used a customized dynamic mobile ad that was only shown to people in the market for a new car.

Using available geographic data, the banner updated in real time based on consumer location to show relevant offers and information specific to the dealership in their area such as the Kansas City, Missouri dealership

Adams Toyota Kansas City

This campaign was the first time an automotive brand had used this kind of dynamic mobile advertising and was very successful, with a 44% increase in intended response, compared to traditional, non-responsive advertising.

Snapchat Local Ads and Geo-filters

Toyota was the first automotive brand to use the Snapchat localized live story feature, purchasing ads on the popular social networking app targeting Los Angeles.

The live story tied in with the accompanying television ads, inspiring Snapchatters to get into their cars and out into the world.

A year later in August 2016, a filter was also made available, which offered a VIP pass to a popup concert at Lollapalooza.

Snapchatters visiting the Toyota-sponsored festival were invited to use the filter in three different locations including the main stage and the Toyota Music Den. Users who swiped left on their selfies were then rewarded with a VIP pass to a secret show with Leon Bridges.

The geo filter achieved over 50,000 views during the three hours that it ran, even though it was not promoted beforehand. Toyota was so impressed with the results that they are planning to repeat the model in future festivals and events, and possibly longer term as part of the overall marketing campaign.

Toyota 2017 Snapchat Ad

Toyota’s use of live stories has evolved since its first attempt. The brand is moving away from trying to replicate traditional TV advertising with panoramic shots of cars driving in scenic locations and inspirational voice-overs, and is instead attempting to emulate the rougher user-generated content that is more commonly seen on Snapchat.

For example, one of the live stories published during the Lollapalooza event featured a fake reporter broadcasting from various locations around the festival.

Another example of a recent successful and innovative Toyota Snapchat campaign collaborated with popular Latin hip-hop artists, who were nominated for the Billboard Latin Music Awards in May 2016. The campaign required users to follow the artists accounts and place three smartphones side by side in order to experience the complete Snapchat story in its entirety.

Once lined up, Snapchat users were able to watch the artists moving around the screens, appearing to step out of their own accounts and into other Snapchat channels. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid was pictured behind the artists in each scene to tie in the overall idea behind the campaign to “step out of your comfort zone”.

Snapchat ad

Toyota is keen to continue collaborations with influencers on Snapchat as a way to both engage with a larger audience, and to learn how to use the platform more effectively. Popular Snapchat users already know the type of content that is popular with their followers and this information can be used to the advantage of big brands like Toyota.

Google Localized Advertising

Alongside the first Snapchat live stories targeted at San Francisco locals, Toyota also invested in Google advertising with automatically customized banner ads that were targeted with city-specific information for 15,000 cities across the USA, including Kansas City.

The banner ads tied into the “Let’s Go Places” strapline of the marketing campaign by suggesting places to visit locally such as restaurants and museums. They were created with the help of a new API written for Google Places.

The idea behind the banners was to combat so-called “banner blindness”, where web users ignore advertising banners because they are seen so frequently online, by drawing their attention. The theory being that users seeing landmarks and references to their local area would be more likely to click the ad out of curiosity.

The API also used Google’s sophisticated user-targeted advertising to serve local banner ads specific to the viewers own likes and preferences. Those who had a history of searches for art and culture topics might be served a banner ad recommending a local museum or art gallery, while those who frequented food blogs and online food delivery services would be more likely to be shown advertising featuring eateries in the area.

Customized Facebook Advertising

Facebook adOne of the most recent methods of localized advertising Toyota has been experimenting with is their latest Facebook ad campaign, which involved a staggering 100,000 versions of the same ad, customized for individual user location and interests.

The campaign, launched in November 2016 used 100 interchangeable video clips showcasing the RAV4 Hybrid. Three of these video clips were combined to create each advert using Facebook insights to gain knowledge about each individual user’s location and interests.

Advertising and Localization Moving Forward

As Toyota’s advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi LA, has invested so much into localized ad strategies over the last few years, it seems safe to say that the experimentation has paid off and that this type of advertising is proving to be very successful for Toyota.

With an increasing number of users accessing the internet primarily through their mobile devices, and localization technology becoming more advanced, there are likely to be even more opportunities for brands to use advertising in a laser targeted way for each individual consumer.

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