Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Toyota Sees Beyond Cars

Toyota is one of the biggest advertisers in the country. And they’ve staked their huge new brand campaign (from Dentsu) on Doing Good.

They talk about creating American jobs at all the plants they have here. They talk about producing as little waste as possible, and their zero landfill targets. – (Bear in mind, this isn’t a fringe sub-campaign. This is Toyota’s new brand campaign.)

They talk about their safety innovations. Their partnership with the Audubon Society to “green” communities from Brooklyn to San Antonio. The $35 million they’ve donated toward children’s literacy. Fixing parks. Planting trees. Supporting college water sustainability standards … The list goes on and on.

It’s a lot of information we didn’t know about Toyota. And while it may not constitute total transparency, it sure feels like it. It feels like Toyota isn’t afraid to pull back the curtain and show you the factories, the parks, the people, the customers.

And it also invites viewers to chime in with their own stories, building a sense of community, participation, fandom, and in a way – crowdsourcing stories and ideas.

Creatively, my first impression of “Beyond Cars” was, Okay you see beyond cars, but if I want to buy a car I want Toyota to be really focused on that car, not some hippy tree-planting stuff.* However ...

After delving into the website, the good feelings I gained about Toyota overpowered the need for them to show me sheet metal. I already know Toyota makes great cars. Now I know a lot more. And in this case, the more I learn, the more I like them.

What other car company can say that?

* (Also, the creative is not particularly attention-getting. What is attention-getting is the mechanics of it: all the Good stuff they do, the transparency of it all, and the involvement of the website. It’s the community-building that gets the attention here, not a clever ad. In this case, the most compelling thing is to simply say the truth.)

(PS - If you want another Green car idea that's more closely tied to sales, you may also like THIS.) I'm reading: Toyota Sees Beyond CarsTweet this!


  1. Pretty good post. I hope you create more in the future..

  2. At first I thought you were just trolling Toyota and how you hated them, but it was great how you went to their website and actually did some research. Toyota does make great reliable cars, and it's moved on to the next step now that they've cemented their reputation as the number 1 carmaker in the world. If you read the recent news, you can see how they've made the new Me.We car which is very innovative