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Toyota leverages mobile to target in-market local car shoppers

Toyota is using a new mobile advertising unit to serve real-time offers to customers who are in a Toyota dealer?s region and in the market for a car.

Co-created with Opera Mediaworks and Saatchi & Saatchi LA, the ad unit leverages Opera Mediaworks audience-management platform to determine that a user is an in-market auto shopper and GPS location data to deliver the appropriate offer, showing what interest rate a buyer in that location could pay to finance a purchase. The leveraging of both geographic location and in-market behavior highlights the significant strides that automakers are making in mobile to drive sales leads and foot traffic to dealerships.

?The objective is to reach in-market auto shoppers with their local offer,? said Scott Swanson, president, global advertising sales, Opera Mediaworks.

?By running media on smartphones, in app and on the mobile web, we are able to reach users on the go with the offer that is best suited for their current location.? 

In-market shoppers
The ad unit can be viewed by in-market auto shoppers who frequent any of Opera?s premium publishers and applications.

An example of how it works would be an in-market auto customer receiving an animated mobile ad. A Toyota would zoom into the screen and an offer, including the interest rate a buyer would pay to finance a purchase in that geographic region, would be generated in real time. 

A video of the ad can be seen here:

The campaign, which began Aug. 6 and continues through Tuesday, aligns with Toyota?s August sales event.
Toyota?s advertising agency of record, Saatchi & Saatchi LA, pioneered the idea of developing a highly-localized ad that could leverage the back-end technology of the automaker?s Web site, which provides the most recent annual percentage rate (APR) for each dealership, by region, Opera Mediaworks said.

Toyota and Saatchi LA turned to the advertising technologists at Opera Mediaworks? Innovation Lab, who found a way to use Toyota?s Application Programming Interface to update banner creative and display the relevant APR to users in the dealer?s region.

Since the location targeting uses latitude and longitude data, not an IP address, it provides a more accurate list of consumers who are physically near the dealership in real-time.

The banner ad is only served to customers who are actively looking for a car. The consumers are identified through a blend of anonymous data from Opera Mediaworks? proprietary audience management platform.

The results so far have been positive, according to the agency. When comparing dynamic ads to non-dynamic, there is a significant difference of +101 percent n intender response.

The combination of dynamic updating with both geographic location and in-market behavior, or demonstrated purchase intent, gives the ad unit significant potential for engaging buyers, according to Mr. Swanson.

A dealer could conceivably take a picture of a car sitting on a lot, populate the ad unit with it and serve it to a customer who is shopping for that exact model right across the street.

Toyota, like other automakers, has been focusing on using mobile to engage buyers.

Serving real-time offers to in-market consumers based on location.
The car giant promoted its 2014 Corolla compact car line with voice-activated banner ads (see story). When consumers clicked on a banner ad, the creative expanded to a full page and the ad began telling consumers about the features in the car. The ad then walked consumers through all the parts of the connected car experience.

The ad was also customized to users. For example, the voice-over in the ad prompted consumers to pick from three different options to learn more about the car. The ad then served up several different pieces of information.

360-degree views
Automakers also are heavily playing up 360-degree views, rich media and other tactics that drive engagement.

For example, Chrysler?s Jeep recently leveraged a new type of pull-down mobile ad unit to show off its 2014 My Cherokee car (see story). Ford last fall had an ad that let consumers drag a car across a map or pack up a vehicle (see story).

?The potential of dynamic creative combining with big data not only allows for more relevant advertising, but could lead way for dealers to interact with their local consumers through much more contextually relevant advertising,? Opera Mediaworks? Mr. Swanson said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York.