New Toyota Campaign For Scion Is A Labor Of Lava

Toyota's Scion In recent years, Toyota's Scion division has created a number of limited-edition company-modified versions of its cars. The Scion brand was, after all, created to appeal to young buyers, so modified, limited-edition versions may not be large revenue generators, but they support the division's raison d'être.

The latest is a "Hot Lava"-colored, tricked-out version of the xD vehicle, part of the division's Release Series 1.0 line of factory-customized cars. The company is extending the lava theme to a marketing program to support the car, of which only 2,000 are being made. The campaign, which launched Wednesday, comprises an online banner-ad campaign directing consumers to visit; dealer-customizable newspaper ads; and smoking mobile billboards accompanied by street teams wearing flame-retardant suits.



The microsite opens with an animation of lava erupting from a volcano in an urban landscape. The lava pours over a stock xD, and the car melts and reshapes into the Release Series vehicle. When site visitors click on steaming manhole covers, they blow open to show vehicle features.

The smoke-expelling billboards, which will roll through 12 cities, show the flaming xD RS 1.0 image. Street teams will hand out Hot Lava-themed promotional giveaway items. York-based Zenithmedia is handling the billboard placement. The effort starts with billboards in Los Angeles, Kansas City and Atlanta.

Scion started rolling out limited-edition Release Series versions of cars in 2004, a year or so after the division's launch. The company has introduced three such vehicles this year, including a Release Series xB 5.0. Scion, of which the company made only 2,500, and an RS version of the tC.

The xB, with mica-gold exterior paint scheme, got a grassroots effort in 10 cities in California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Oregon and Washington with teams in security uniforms driving campaign-branded armored transports. Scion made only 2,300 of the "Galactic Grey Mica"-colored tC 4.0 cars. Preordering at dealerships, which get only two or three of the vehicles, is first-come, first-serve.

"I think we have always consistently marketed the Release Series, because it's a great avenue to be able to do cool, fun stuff and it's also a great opportunity for Scion to get across its personalization message," says Simon Needham, AOR Attik's group creative director and co-founder. "Even though there are only a couple of thousand to sell, there's a great message for reinforcing the brand."

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