Toyota accelerates into cognitive ads for smarter personalization

First Published on

Dive Brief:

  • Toyota unveiled a new campaign today that taps IBM’s Watson Ads to serve cognitive ads on IBM-owned The Weather Channel App and, an automotive industry first per a press release made available to Marketing Dive.
  • The ads will promote the Prius Prime vehicle model and use Watson’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology to combine machine learning, natural language understanding and integrated dialogue tools for a personalized user experience.
  • The Watson Ads cognitive ad format allows consumers to organically connect with brands by understanding user intent that lets marketers create a personalized, one-to-one conversation with audiences. Toyota’s messaging will include answering consumer questions, sharing information about the car and guiding user decision-making during purchase consideration.

Dive Insight:

Because the ad format that Toyota is using in its new campaign is based on AI tech, the ads learn over time and “get smarter” with each user interaction improving the ability to educate consumers as well as help them make informed buying decisions. For marketers, the format provides insights into consumer questions, concerns and interest, said Sarah Ripmaster, head of automotive sales, The Weather Company, in the press release.

AI is appealing to marketers because it offers the promise of addressing the need to provide more valuable, relevant experiences if brands are to break through consumer disinterest in ads. However, being able to successfully leverage AI requires organizations to already have a data management infrastructure in place. According to Ripmaster, Toyota has an organized system for data management and internal processes that enabled it to recognize the benefits of cognitive ads and to be able to extract insights from the interactions. 

The campaign was created by Saatchi &Saatchi, which has previous experience using Watson in ad campaigns including a programmatic effort for Toyota’s RAV4 that delivered 300 custom pieces in a programmatic video effort. A push for Mirai on Facebook used AI to write thousands of ads. According to eMarketer, automotive is the second-largest industry segment in U.S. digital ad spending, with the 2017 total for the segment expected to reach $10.66 billion.

Filed Under: Apps Campaigns Mobile marketing trends
Top image credit: Toyota