Cover Story: ToyoTags Leads
At first, there doesn't seem to be much of a correlation between the 2011 Toyota Corolla and Hatsune Miku.
It isn't just that Miku isn't a car—she's a teal-tressed pop star who happens to be virtual. There's also the fact that Miku is a soprano and the Corolla's singing on the road ... isn't exactly classified that way.
But when Toyota decided to take the plunge into creating an omnipresent mobile campaign marrying these two compact entities on the virtual stage, the duo started to make more sense. Both had the same audience that wanted to see them perform. And they both did see them perform—as evidenced by the results reported by Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.
The first day consumers could see Miku sing and dance with her favorite car, downloads of the free software necessary to view the 3D holographic images—the Toyota Shopping Tool App—increased by more than 600 percent, says Michael K. Nelson, senior digital marketing manager of digital marketing and social media in the Toyota Division. That was on Sept. 16, 2011, during the "MikuScape" party at Royal/T Café in Culver City, Calif. And by the next weekend, downloads had risen to 700 percent above pre-MikuScape levels. Nelson says, "We had a 25 percent increase in leads that very same week."
That one success, though, wasn't the entire reason Toyota executives decided to invest time and money in 2D mobile code technology. About a year ago, Nelson says Toyota moved away from the QR Codes created by its subsidiary—Denso Wave—and moved heavily into "ToyoTags" for mobile marketing efforts because the more picture-like, more eye-pleasing SnapTags from Denver-based SpyderLynk solved three issues for Toyota: brandability, flexibility and reach.
Since then, ToyoTags—featuring, for instance, Prius images and text inside a car tire—have been included in many campaigns. Consumers take pictures of the ToyoTag in order to receive text, video or another Toyota-related experience.