Toyota Offers Local News Promotion

It would be curious to know how much Toyota is spending to link with a Los Angeles TV station’s weather reporting. It’s certainly a clever promotion, but will it sell any vehicles?

Banner ads on the CBS Los Angeles online hub tout a “Toyota Mobile Weather Lab.” There’s a link to a video with a Toyota SUV emerging with all kinds of radars and satellite dishes on top.



“Providing extensive hyper-localized weather data and super-accurate local conditions on the spot,” the voiceover says. “No other local TV station has anything like it.”

Apparently, the Toyota SUV is used by KCAL to pick up local weather details as it drives throughout SoCal. In the process, it’s a moving ad for Toyota.

The consumer takeaway might be the impressive looking SUV offers excellent in-car information and entertainment systems, something consumers increasingly covet. The equipment on top makes the SUV look like it has major connections in space. If CBS as a company didn’t compete with SiriusXM, it might make for a good promotion for satellite radio.

Whether it will impress any perspective buyers or not, it’s another example of local TV stations looking for ways to insert branding into their news content. This one works well. It doesn't come off as overly commercial and the way the Toyota SUV is outfitted, it does appear to offer some sort of advancement in weather forecasting.

The promotion, however, might work best with a station down South or elsewhere where hurricanes come with some frequency. There is, of course, plenty of Mother Nature activity in SoCal to show a Toyota's power. But the chance to be shown withstanding strong winds and plowing through floods would seem to dovetail with Toyota branding about nothing able to get in the way.

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