Toyota Promo, Case study FLORALSCAPES

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Industry Cars
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Automotive and Transport
Advertiser: TOYOTA
Product/Service: PRIUS
Corporate Manager, Marketing Communications: Tim Morrison (Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.)
Corporate Manager, Marketing Communications: Kim McCullough (Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.)
Car Advertising Manager: Colin Morisako (Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.)
National Manager, Toyota and Lexus Division Communications: Joe Tetherow (Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.)
Manager, Toyota Division Communications: Greg Thome (Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.)
Executive Creative Director: Mike McKay (Saatchi & Saatchi LA)
Creative Director: Andrew Christou (Saatchi & Saatchi LA)
Design Creative Director: Ryan Jacobs (Saatchi & Saatchi LA)
Associate Creative Director/Associate Director: Kelly Kliebe (Saatchi & Saatchi LA)
Art Director: Chris Peel (Saatchi & Saatchi LA)
Account Director: Marisstella Marinkovic (Saatchi & Saatchi LA)
Account Supervisor: Keith Ellis (Saatchi & Saatchi LA)
Account Executive: Carla Tanchum (Saatchi & Saatchi LA)
Executive Media Director: John Lisko (Saatchi & Saatchi LA)
Media Director: Samantha Johnson (Saatchi & Saatchi LA)
Media Associate Director: Nicole Scandaliato (Saatchi & Saatchi LA)
Public Relations Manager: Erin Poole (Saatchi & Saatchi LA)
Senior Vice President: Art Garner (GolinHarris)
Vice President: Tracy Segal (GolinHarris)
Account Executive: Rebecca Lee (GolinHarris)
Media placement: Ambient Media - Los Angeles - 110 Freeway, downtown - 18 August 2009

Summary of the Campaign
The 3rd generation of Toyota’s Prius had to achieve ambitious sales goals against a foreboding backdrop - the worst automotive market in 40 years, rising competition and waning interest in hybrids. We needed a highly relevant way to reach a new mainstream target customer who is motivated by visual media and takes pleasure in sharing solutions that improve the world. Part urban beautification and part marketing; Toyota was the first company to participate in a new public-private program, installing nine Prius Floralscapes along California freeways. Each vivid roadside display was comprised of more than 20,000 living seasonal flowers and featured evocative Prius images. We used environmentally friendly methods and local businesses to install and maintain the nine Floralscapes; making permanent improvements to the right-of-way. We held a press conference with L.A.’s mayor to unveil the first-ever Floralscape. We used PR as a lever to achieve mass awareness, securing more than 36 million impressions with an editorial value exceeding $9.9 million—more than eight times media expenditures. Prius increased sales a whopping 45% over the prior year, exceeding its goal of increasing sales 20%.

The Goal
Business: Generate a 20% increase in sales, while the industry-average nameplate was experiencing a 37% drop in sales Awareness: Generate PR value at least doubling media expenditures for the Harmony Floralscapes Brand Vibrancy: Help the Prius brand blossom with the mainstream customer by building associations of innovation, sustainability and community goodwill Research: Identified a new, more mainstream Prius target we called Ecomodernists. Ever the optimists, Ecomodernists take pride and pleasure in leading eco- and tech-friendly lifestyles. They are highly visual and seek out and share ideas that have a positive impact on the world.

Business: Increased sales an astonishing 45% over the prior year, surpassing goal of increasing sales 20% 21% increase in mainstream buyers; from 18% to 39% Awareness: More than 36 million impressions with an editorial value exceeding $9.9 million PR value equals more than eight times media expenditures for Harmony Floralscapes Coverage from mainstream outlets including local TV and radio, USA Today, LA Times and numerous blogs as well as trade outlets such as AdAge and Automotive News, even landscape architecture media Australian government studying Floralscapes as a model of green advertising Brand Vibrancy: Hybrid category leadership in ALL brand imagery metrics, including TechAdvanced and Innovation Behaviour: 200 million California motorists passed by the Floralscapes Toyota and Caltrans received numerous “thank you” emails from happy motorists

Development: Installed nine 30 foot by 60 foot Prius Floralscapes in California, starting August 2009 Extensive planning went into selecting the locations, creating the designs, growing the flowers and using environmentally friendly installation and maintenance techniques, all via local businesses Creating Positive Change: Made permanent improvements to the right-of-way, including installing irrigation systems Partnered with the non-profit Los Angeles Conservation Corps, which provides training to at-risk youth, to maintain the surrounding areas Press Conference: Held a press conference to unveil the first-ever Floralscape on the 110 Freeway in downtown L.A. August 18, 2009 Speakers: L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and executives from Toyota, Caltrans and Greenroad Media Ongoing Outreach: Distributed press materials and video footage to non-L.A. based journalists Program Extension: Two San Francisco-area Floralscapes installed February 2010 Two San Francisco-area and three L.A.-area Floralscapes remain through June 2010, beyond original scope

The Situation
Prius had historically been the hybrid of choice for eco-conscious consumers. As demand for hybrids increased, Toyota ramped up production and planned to take the vehicle mainstream. Prior to its introduction, however, the economic collapse created the worst automotive market in 40 years. In addition, Prius was battling increased competition from other manufacturers’ new hybrid offerings. If that weren’t daunting enough, gas prices were trending downward and taking customer interest in highly fuel-efficient hybrids down with them. An ordinary launch campaign using traditional media alone wouldn’t suffice. We needed to extend the buzz and awareness beyond the May campaign launch.

The Strategy
Overall: In our campaign, "Harmony between Man, Nature and Machine"; we showcased Prius as a positive influence on people and nature—transforming the world for the better. To beautify California roadsides while demonstrating Prius’ commitment to the environment and the community, a public-private partnership was formed to create Prius "Harmony Floralscapes". Comprised of more than 20,000 seasonal flowers apiece, these vivid roadside displays beautified California freeways with Prius imagery. Media Strategy: PR was the lever for mass awareness and the only way that people other than California commuters would see the Floralscapes. We enlisted Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in a press conference to unveil the first-ever Floralscape. We looked beyond local press to environmental, automotive and marketing media, targeting high-value outlets that would germinate countless more articles and blog posts.