Scion Launches First NFL Ads to Tout New TC


Scion, Toyota Motor's hip division, is in the second phase of its "Machine" campaign that puts the automaker's latest vehicle in a futuristic Orwellian city, where both the vehicles and the bureaucracy are machines.

The latest element also directs people to play a new online game in which one can race the vehicles through the dystopia in an effort to escape the authorities. "Take on the Machine" includes a series of TV, print, online and in-cinema ads touting the 2011 tC coupe.

To support the 2011 tC, which rolls into dealerships early next month, Scion is also doing its first-ever TV buys on NFL broadcasts. The company will run a 30-second ad on "Monday Night Football" starting Sept. 13 on ESPN. The TV spot is also running on channels like Adult Swim, Comedy Central, Current, MTV, and Spike.

The effort also includes movie theater lobby posters paired with 3D ads for the tC creatively mirroring the digital game and running prior to the dystopic horror film "Resident Evil: Afterlife." There are also double-spread print ads in October issues of outré art magazines like Juxtapoz and Blue Canvas, as well as billboards in 24 cities starting this week.



The "Machine" campaign, via Scion's AOR Attik, started a month ago with a teaser effort, "Enter the Machine" with a search-engine buy for the term "the machine," as well as spot TV, out-of-home, online and print media placements.

Owen Peacock, Scion's national marketing and communications manager, says Scion is airing the spot three times per NFL game, initially. "It is the first time we have ever been on NFL. We felt it was an exciting enough vehicle to do [the NFL buy]." He says the demographic of the current tC, averaging 26 years of age -- the youngest of any vehicle in the U.S. market -- makes NFL the right buy.

"We expect the next generation to be right in that wheel house as well." Peacock says after four weeks of heavy rotation, the ads will continue in spot media buys. The ad will also run online with alternative endings, within the video section of TakeOnTheMachine. com. In some markets where Scion is running the 3D campaign around "Resident Evil," dealers are giving away branded, polarized 3D glasses.

Scion is also doing a road show to promote the 2011 tC, per Peacock, who says the effort comprises three trucks outfitted with game kiosks. There is also a national ride-and-drive effort called Scion Exchange hitting 30 cities this fall. The "pop up" ride and drive partners with local, independent businesses that, per Peacock, "fall into Scion's motif, such as record shops, clothing stores, art galleries -- places where there's mutual benefit."

Since launching at the end of August, the "Take on the Machine" game has clocked some 8,000 plays, he says. The game lets players race the tC through the city both by keyboard controls and by printing an image of a steering wheel, and "steering the car" by holding the printout of the tC steering wheel in front of a computer-mounted camera. Peacock points out that social-media components allow players to share results.

"At each level, you can hit 'share' to put it on your Facebook page. There is also a global leader board," says Peacock, who adds that the game and the grassroots effort are about "authentic experience." "We want to cultivate affinity for the brand; it's about making the experience enjoyable, bringing value and then if people want product information, specs, or dealer contacts, we can provide that."

1 comment about "Scion Launches First NFL Ads to Tout New TC".
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  1. John Morgan from Motozuma, September 14, 2010 at 2:59 p.m.

    Great program for Scion. Congrats to Owen and the team.

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