Toyota gets social: uses fans to launch the new C-HR

[FEATURED] In a dramatic departure from traditional motor vehicle advertising, Toyota SA has used its online fan base to help launch the C-HR, its brand new high-powered cross-over marque

The digitally savvy through-the-line campaign, devised by FCB Joburg, features authentic, real life comments taken from actual fans who commented on Toyota’s teaser campaign posts and tweets for the C-HR.

These comments are as interesting as the C-HR itself with @MidziMgudlwa describing it as “#thebombdotcom” while @Samsonkgoroba said “it looks like something that will bite you”. Other comments include, a “flaming like” visual from @ChrisvanStrijp , a “shut up and take my money” meme from @JasonLessing and “Toyotally speechless” from @Mari-Lou Ras.

The campaign is the brainchild of the FCB team of CEO and Executive Creative Director Brett Morris, Creative Directors Tian Van Den Heever and Simon Fabricius, Copywriter Inge-Marne Blignaut and Art Director Pamela Turner – who all worked off a strategic brief provided by FCB Joburg’s Strategic Director, Kabelo Lehlongwane.

“The C-HR stands out from the crowd, just like the people who are going to drive it. Their resistance to convention means they lead conversations, especially online,” explained Lehlongwane.

“In fact, they’re skeptical about big brand messages and would rather trust a peer review on the internet when making decisions. We concluded that the only way to sell the unconventional C-HR to this unconventional market was to use their comments to sell the C-HR back to them, proving that it is, #InternetApproved.”

Toyota’s Senior Manager of Advertising and Digital Marketing, Aidan Castille, explained: “The C-HR exudes athleticism, matured sexiness and refinement that stands out in a city at night. As such, it’s an extension of its owner’s personality, highlighting his or her individuality and identity.

“The brief therefore put to FCB Joburg was to introduce the C-HR to the market while creating ‘waku-doki’ for the Toyota brand – that feeling of anticipation and that adrenaline rush you get when you are about to do something exciting. In addition, FCB Joburg was tasked with coming up with a campaign that would position this new car correctly to resonate with a younger, trendier audience of 30-plus males and females.”

The starting point was an online campaign on Toyota’s social media channels asking the various communities what they thought of the C-HR. The best comments were then used in the through-the-line campaign, which includes television, radio, print, digital and out-of-home advertising.

The 40-second TV ad was shot by Bioscope Films over two nights in the Johannesburg CBD.

The campaign broke on 27 February 2017 and Lehlongwane believes the target audience will be pleasantly surprised. “We’re certain Toyota fans will appreciate the fact that we’ve listened to what they say, and take notes of their comments and feedback,” he said.