O Canada: Scion Enters Maple Leaf Country


Until now, Scion vehicles have only been available in the U.S. Starting next week, Canada will become part of the North American market for the Toyota division. Around 46 Toyota dealerships will begin selling 2011 editions of the brand's xB, xD and tC models in Montreal Toronto and Vancouver.

The effort, via Los Angeles-based Attik -- which has had the Scion account since the brand launched -- includes print and online elements with the tag: "Introducing Scion. What Moves You." On Monday, Scion launched a 60-second 3D cinema ad for an eight-week run in Toronto movie theaters ahead of selected R-rated movies.

The campaign also includes digital out-of-home boards, dealership elements, and many non-traditional elements aimed at the creative community, to include "chalk art" stenciling around urban centers and projections supporting Scion Sessions and other local events like Montreal's Piknik Electronik and Shine Night Club in Vancouver. Media is being handled by Dentsu Canada.



Paul Harrison, Scion's marketing manager in Canada, says that of the nation's 48 dealerships, three -- one in each city -- is a stand-alone Scion dealer. He says that phase two of the Scion dealership rollout will begin next April, however, with retail points in smaller cities across the nation.

Harrison says that, heretofore, there hadn't been a critical mass of younger consumers, both from immigration and from the children of immigrants to the country. "Also, we wanted to wait for this second product evolution. You only have one chance to launch a brand and, while we might have launched 12 months ago, we would have been launching with the late model tC. We have lots of favorable factors lined up for us now: the new tC, the iQ next year. That's two major new products to introduce the brand.

He says that in Canada, as in the U.S., grassroots efforts will be key. "We have music events, wake-boarding and skateboarding events. We would be crazy not to follow a successful model in the U.S."

Simon Needham, co-founder and creative director at Attik, tells Marketing Daily the effort uses creative from the U.S. campaign but tweaks it to reflect a different zeitgeist among younger Canadians. He says the agency found from market research that younger Canadians are more collaborative, more interested in their place within a community of creative peers, and less interested in going it alone, or in the allure of personal aggrandizement.

"The target we are talking about is urban youth," he says. "But they are much more about looking after each other and being in a community rather than wanting to be rich and famous. In the U.S., we fight like hell to be the best and richest. In Canada, they don't have that same degree of pressure."

Needham says producing cost- effective marketing for Canada was essential because the market is about one-tenth the size of the U.S. "What we wanted to have come across is that Scion is about taking on conformity and differentiation from the rest of the world. But the end of the ads and the print and outdoor ads are more raw, grungier because after doing research we recognized that there is a more artsy community among our target buyers in Canada. The look and feel of everything has more of a realness to it, less of an upscale feel."

The last 10 seconds of the cinema ad that has text over a jagged background showing all three of the models is also running as 10-second loops on video billboards. In November, the 10-second spot will run on Canadian TV, per a spokesperson.

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