Scion, Toyota's GenY auto division, has a busy year ahead. The Torrance division of Toyota Motor Sales, USA is in the midst of rolling out its iQ matchbox coupe, and is gearing up to launch the FRS sports car. Television ads are running now for the iQ. And the digital side of things is up to date. At least it is now.
The automaker until fairly recently had a bit of a problem, and a particularly difficult one for a brand whose demographic is young: the website was outmoded, had no social elements, wasn't terribly scalable to mobile screens, and couldn't really be used on iPads because of its heavy use of Flash.
That's all fixed. Scion last year handed all web duties to its creative AOR, Attik, which rebuilt the eight-year-old Scion.com from grill to tailpipe in HTML5 and CSS3 so it can be used with devices that are becoming the de facto interface for the Web: tablets, smartphones and other mobile screens. The agency says the navigation and layout structure is intended to be tablet- and touch-friendly.
The idea is to make the site accessible from any screen, easy to navigate, scalable, and easy to alter to reflect integrated creative.
Attik, which began as a graphic arts house in Huddersfield, UK (literally in the founder's attic), and has been AOR for Scion since the brand's inception, has been spending the last couple of years building out its digital talent.
Among other big changes is that the site now has navigation functions that are never subsumed by other programs, and it also has social-media integration. The new site is also scalable, according to the agency, so that it can be easily altered or expanded with replaced content or shifted sections. The scalable part of it makes it easier to change the site to reflect national ad campaigns, promotional units and such.
Owen Peacock, Scion national marketing communications manager, tells Marketing Daily that while it is a challenge for Scion to have an "unbundled" marketing-agency structure (meaning that while Attik is Scion's agency for creative, Scion has never really had a traditional AOR handling every aspect of marketing communications), it has worked. He says the company isn't changing that approach by having given Attik domain responsibility.
"It's a challenge for product management and cohesiveness across vendors," he says. "And with advertising driving people to scion.com, we just realized that if they are seeing print, and TV when they get to online it should have the exact look and feel."
Peacock says the change doesn't mean Scion is moving away from its unbundled approach. "I'm going after quality first and cost savings second; more than anything it's about customer experience. If it's best to bundle it at Attik, fine. If not, that's fine, too. I'm more for going best execution, period."
He says Scion has the youngest customers in the industry. "When we are looking at that target, they are interfacing with the brand from desktops, tablets, mobile devices. And when they want fast access. That's top of mind. The old site took a long time to load. Now it's extremely fast."
Attik's interactive creative director Jacob Ford said the new site is able to bend to marketing and campaign needs. "If they decide to have national campaign the next day we can adapt it quickly. The site architecture reflects how we wanted to make it easier for consumers to get information; everything is a click away."
Ford says last month 50,000 people accessed the site via iPad. "It was scary to think that 45 days ago they would have been met with 'Flash not supported.' We are really trying to kill as many birds as possible here, getting ahead and addressing things that old site didn't have: a search function, or social or sharing function, for example.”