Toyota Grand Highlander Campaign Runs AI-Powered Virtual Ads

Toyota ran a campaign for the Grand Highlander using an AI-powered platform that features in-language virtual signage, video within video, and virtual product placements embedded in content.

The goal was to make the integration feel natural and contextually relevant, not forced or seem out of place.

The campaign targeted adults planning to buy or lease a car in the next six months. It ran on iTalkBB, a provider of Chinese-language entertainment in North America and a publisher in Mirriad’s Diverse Supplier Marketplace. 

Mirriad, which supported the campaign, focuses on virtual product placements using an AI-powered platform that dynamically inserts brands into TV, SVOD/AVOD, music videos, and influencer content. It scales campaigns dynamically to deliver a non-disruptive viewer experience.

The Toyota Highlander -- through the campaign -- gained strong results from its target audience across awareness, favorability, and consideration, with some 94% in ad awareness, 82% in consideration, and 80% of viewers saying they liked the virtual ad format.

Sentiment toward Toyota rose, the company said, with 80% of viewers saying they were aware that the virtual integrations were advertisements, but felt a connection with the message. 

The research also showed that consumers had a higher brand affinity toward the features of the Toyota Grand Highlander.

The strategy has been used by other global advertisers such as Lexus, DoorDash, Nissan, Best Buy, P&G, and PepsiCo. L'Oreal used the platform in its Coi LeRay music video. 

Kantar verified that this type of ad format drives up to 35% increase in sales following exposure. Resent research from the firm also found viewers on average who feel positive about their ad experience are much more likely to purchase an advertiser’s product, resulting in a 61% higher incidence of adding products to the shopping cart, 40% higher online purchase, and 27 % higher in-store purchase.

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