Toyota Touts Manufacturing With 'Gifony'

Toyota has coined a term and built a campaign around it. The word is “Gifony” and the campaign, breaking this week, is a digital/social effort from the corporate side that lets people mix and mash GIFs of Toyota manufacturing action in its U.S. production facilities, with the result a kind of Moby-esque electronica. The effort, on, features a slate of short loops of specific manufacturing processes, accentuating the sound of the process, which few people ever hear, and put any number of them together in one track, with each GIF audio representing elements of a band. 

The campaign, via global digital agency 360i, features 45 GIFs of such processes as the bass-like sound of doors being drilled into place, the percussive process of sheets of steel being stamped into parts, and team member commands, constituting lyrics. By hitting “Play My Gifony,” users can download an original MP3 of their Gifony remix and share it via social channels, including Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud, per the company.



Toyota commissioned Launchpad DJ SoNevable to produce an original Gifony music video that will be featured on the SoNevable YouTube page on April 2, and promoted via social. The brand is also releasing a teaser video for the campaign and promoting Gifony using an interactive DJ booth at live events.

Zoe Zeigler, assistant manager of corporate marketing, tells Marketing Daily that her team was inspired to do the campaign during a visit to a production plant. “We have ten manufacturing plants where we give limited tours, but the larger public has never had an opportunity to see how the cars are made. We saw the energy, sound and visuals; they are so interesting, we said why not invite fans and followers and use music as the hook.” 

She says the company is driving traffic through paid social influencer partners, SoNevable being one of several. “We will have more influencers over the two weeks. We are also doing targeted search and display.” She says it will appeal to gearheads, Millennial music lovers and Toyota fans. “It really hits a wide variety of targets.” 

Media runs through April and the platform will be live for the next few months as well, she says. “This is the first time we have ever done this kind of behind-the-scenes [content].” She says the company is considering rolling it out to national events via an interactive display, and will do a beta starting with Wednesday night's New York International Auto Show Toyota press event. 

Separately and also on the social media front, rival Honda is launching — and will show in New York — an iteration of its new 2016 HR-V compact crossover, called HR-V SLF, Selfie Edition. An effort to capture 18- to-24-year-olds, a third of whose photography is done selfie-style, the car features 10 different selfie cams that can be operated hand-free. The car goes on sale this summer. 

Honda says after working with 15 social media influencers over a period of six months, it chose one of them, named Ashley, to produce a video on the vehicle. Ashley was given an HR-V SLF to test the technology and selfie functions, which only operate when the car is in park. Honda is touting the vehicle through Instagram and Twitter social platforms. The HR-V launched last winter.

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