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Toyota taps Vine to highlight children?s imaginations and its own innovativeness

Toyota tries to boost its positioning as an innovative brand with a Vine campaign that showcases the artwork of children from around the globe addressing the topic of futuristic transportation.

The first-of-its kind program brings another dimension to the annual Toyota Dream Car Art Contest, which for the first time is fusing with mobile social. The contest reflects the global scale of submissions, which topped over 660,000, allowing for worldwide exposure to the ideas of children, and aligns with the company's guiding philosophy of innovation through next generation thinking.

?Although Vines typically are not produced and intended for ?hard-sell? of traditional advertising, done right, they can create good will and a personal connection with the viewer,? said  Djamel Agaoua, CEO of Mob Partner, Paris.

?The best branded creative elements of a Vine campaign are funny, creative, innovative and have a simple message delivered clearly.?

?The general rule-of-thumb for any content produced by a brand is that it should either be entertaining, informative or engaging,? he said.

Dream on
Social channels have a lot of upside for car companies and are an important channel for building brand appeal, supporting new product launches and building deeper connections with owners and fans.

In order to show how powerful kids' imaginations can be, Toyota partnered with creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon Tokyo to conceptualize the Dream Car of the Day and bring the 90 finalists' dream car drawings to life through 3D and 2D animations.

Artwork comes to life

Each design will be featured in its own Vine video, taking viewers on a ride through the imagination of the young artist.

Starting May 29, and for the next 90 days, one new artwork and accompanying Vine video will be revealed on the Dream Car of the Day website and on social media.

Visitors can view the Vine video by "liking" it. The Dream Car of the Day website will be home to all 90 dream car designs and will feature each child as the "hero" for the day, collectively serving as an inspiring representation of the creativity of the world's future innovators.

Many of the submitted works of art show a strong theme of sustainability messages with car designs offering imaginative solutions to large-scale social and environmental issues.

Challenges of social
Social media presents constant challenges and opportunity for auto manufacturers. While marketers speculate about the measurable ROI social fosters, one thing is clear: the cost of ignoring it is huge.

In a report from the CMO Council by digital firm Hoojook with Global Fluency, automakers admitted they need better strategies to figure out whose listening on social, how to identify them as potential customers, and the right social content delivery vehicles, and how to reach the right customer at the right time with the right message.

While social analytics are already being applied to better understand brand sentiment, effectiveness of campaigns and messages, and to identify trends and challenges, brands are yearning for more granular ways to clarify where consumers stand in the purchasing cycle.

Swinging it
Last summer, Nissan tapped both six second Vine loops and the 15-second Instagram video tool to promote the new Note version of its Versa compact.

The car is aimed at young, active Millennials who live life at the spur of the moment through their smartphones.

Vine is fitting for that wanderlust aura. A Website offered printable variations of Versa Note cutouts that fans could use to make Vine and Instagram videos. Some users also saw their creatives come alive in the cars ad campaign online and on TV screens.

Paper cutouts became conversation pieces

At the same time, rival Honda also used Vine to complement its annual US summer-clearance event for the entire fleet.

Honda responded to fan tweets with the hashtag #wantnewcar with live, customized Vine videos.
The hashtag saw 6,895 Twitter mentions from 5,617 users with 14.8 million estimated Twitter impressions within a few days. The word ?Honda? received an estimated 247 million impressions between July 14 and July 16, the company said.

#Wantnewcar was humorous and intimate

Automakers are increasingly turning to social for brand building, consumer engagement, and consumer research.

Although many followers may not be particular brand owners, those enthusiasts must be engaged as much as actual drivers around the product and lifestyle.  Fans provide ideas and play a big part in supporting aspirations and continuing to conversation offline.

?It?s all about knowing your audience,? Mr. Agaoua said.

?The advertising medium and approach isn?t unique to Toyota. However, the content disseminated will be.?

?The quality of the content and the levels of engagement are the best barometer to use for measuring the effectiveness of any campaign. It will also dictate whether or not the campaign will have an impact on consumers,? he said.

?Determining your audience will help you decide which platforms you should be using; marketers need to ?fish where the fish? are.?

Final Take:
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York