Toyota has been reaching out to 20- to-34-year-old consumers with its new Prius c small hybrid car. Part of that effort has involved a month-long relationship with social media channel BuzzFeed.com.
On Monday, BuzzFeed ran a Prius c-themed home page takeover, the first such auto-themed campaign on the site. But instead of banner ads and skyscrapers that live beside BuzzFeed content without having much to do with it except for complementary demographic targeting, the Prius c-branded elements were portals to high-volume BuzzFeed content with a metaphorical theme around "most-charged" stories.
BuzzFeed's home page always has a series of content buttons on top labeled "LOL," "Win," "OMG," "Cute," "Geeky," "Trashy," and "Fail." For the Prius takeover there is one more -- one that resembles the Prius "start" button, and it directs visitors to the "Viral Feed" page of the most viral stories, as well as Prius' own content.
The site's Viral Stats Bar, also Prius c-branded, looks a bit like the car's dash readout of a battery-charge icon. The bar takes you to BuzzFeed's array of live graphs that show social-media lift on BuzzFeed stories. There is also a Prius c-branded section on the right side of the page, "Most Charged Content," showing a series of quirky stories.
Jon Steinberg, president at BuzzFeed, tells Marketing Daily that the idea is to drive front-page marketing with the right content. He says there has been strong pickup on the stories -- one is called “The 20 top hybrid animals,” which he says has gotten 2,000 Facebook shares, and 100 tweets.
"The thematic idea is that Prius c is bringing you the most charged content,” says Steinberg. “We first did this kind of program with Pepsi Next, where you could 'next' your way through viral content. It has to be a theme that makes sense."
Each "Prius c" branded banner takes visitors not to the Toyota Prius c static page but to the car's YouTube channel showing creative from the "Game Of Life"-themed TV campaign, and Web-only videos on the car and how to navigate buying it at the dealership.