Scion Goes After Urban Youths With Street, Web Campaign

Toyota's Scion division is launching new marketing initiatives this week. Agency Attik is overseeing a grassroots effort to promote the limited-edition version of Scion's xB car, the xB 5.0, of which Scion is creating only 2,500. All of the cars come with a mica-gold exterior paint scheme.

According to Simon Needham, Attik's co-founder and creative chief, who works out of the agency's L.A. office, the effort--visiting 10 cities in California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Oregon and Washington--has street teams in security uniforms driving campaign-branded armored transports. Street teams will give away "gold bars" that include skullcaps and passwords to a microsite where consumers can get product info and download a screensaver, instant messaging icons and a desktop background.

Separately, Scion is launching a Web campaign using widgets--transportable content windows--as part of a viral campaign for its three cars. Peter Kim, president of Pasadena, Calif.-based Web advertising tech firm Interpolls, which is hosting the effort (and created the widgets), tells Marketing Daily the ad windows can be moved from Web site to Web site. He said the goal is to give Scion a far broader reach than the company would get from a traditional online ad buy, since consumers can copy the widgets and put them on social network pages like MySpace and Facebook.

"Scion will be able to promote their three vehicles [xB, xD and tC] in the product line in a single execution. You will see in the link that there will be three vehicles you can roll over, and then click on the vehicle that interests you the most, and when you do you will see a video execution on the vehicle," says Kim.

Consumers will also be able to vote on which of the "Little Deviant" characters they like best. The animated "deviants" are gremlin-like characters that were central to Attik's most recent Scion brand campaign, launched last year. In Scion's current ad push, the little gremlin-like characters ride about in Scion vehicles. The effort will initially run on offbeat, urban youth-targeted sites, per Kim.

Attik's Needham says that there will be another round of "Little Deviants" creative coming in the spring. "The campaign will end in the June or July time frame." He adds that much of the forthcoming work will run on traditional print and outdoor media. He says a major Web-based effort will not come unless it's part of a major commitment to a new campaign.

"Obviously, there will always be online components--but my attitude right now is that we are at the point where, unless we are producing something for the Web that is genuinely unique and substantial, it's not worth the time and effort."

Tags: automotive
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