The Hilux is the best-selling vehicle in South Africa. Ahead of the launch of the all-new 2016 Hilux, Toyota South Africa decided that the first time South Africans would experience the awesome toughness of the vehicle was competing in the toughest race on earth: the Dakar Rally.
We decided that the best way to raise excitement around the Hilux and the Dakar Rally was to make fans feel as though they were part of the action. To do this, we devised a multi-pronged engagement campaign that would extend across Toyota's social platforms, website and TV presence.
The Social Media Competition
The social campaign revolved around finding the new owner for the first 2016 Hilux to roll off the assembly line in South Africa. This person would have to prove they were worthy of the Hilux by doing what they did best: voicing their opinions.
On Facebook, for each of the 13 stages we published posts with specific details about obstacles that the Hilux team would face each day. Fans were presented with these obstacles which they could then choose how to overcome. By commenting their choice (A, B, or C), fans were entered into the competition.
We extended this idea into Facebook carousel ad placements. This way we could target an audience that existed outside of our existing fans. We broke up the very same Facebook posts by presenting the obstacle and each of the three options across 4 separate image units, turning the format into a choose-your-own-adventure ad.
Clicking on one of the options took the audience to a result page on the Motorsport website which housed a specially made response video from Hilux team lead driver Giniel de Villiers (for correct choices) or his navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz (for incorrect choices). To enter, the audience commented below the video in Facebook native comment forms - helping to guard against drop-off from switching platforms.
On Twitter we tapped the armchair experts again by asking for their race predictions. For each stage we tweeted course information and in order to enter, fans would reply with their stage time prediction for the Hilux team.
This diverse approach allowed us to capture over 74 000 entries.
Not only was this the biggest promo campaign we have ever run for Toyota, it was the best performing one as well.
The Hilux TV Advert
Picking up from the communication strategy for the launch, our task was to express the advanced toughness of the all-new Hilux. Considering the long history of Toyota toughness stretching back to the first Hilux in 1969, it became clear that that we had run out of words that expressed just how much tougher this new model was.
We interpreted this in the universal and relatable language of "My dad is bigger than your dad". Three scenes depicting escalating trials of toughness gave us the perfect opportunity to show off the three major model variations - the Single Cab, the Xtra Cab and the Double Cab.
Toyota Desktop Website
Beyond the laundry list of standard banners, remarketing banners, social skins and social posts, the momentum generated by this mammoth launch event provided us with the opportunity to further expand on our online experience. We identified that while the Toyota South Africa website did a great job of providing information to people in the active evaluation phase of the consumer journey, we could be doing more to inspire those who were still in the initial consideration phase.
The solution was to provide a more inspiring experience. This was achieved by pulling features out of the specifications spreadsheet and transforming them into immersive interactions that really demonstrate the pedigree of the Hilux. This allowed us to create a template for improving Toyota's online presence in a smart, budget-conscious way.
Facebook Canvas Advert
With the Hilux we continued to break boundaries by creating the first Facebook Canvas placement in Africa. This unique format allowed us to bolster the reach of this campaign with an immersive mobile experience that is usually reserved for desktop microsites.
The ideas and assets that we generated for the Canvas Advert proved to be very versatile. We were able to develop them into an interactive experience that we are housing on the Toyota mobi website in order to inspire a large segment of our audience that are predominantly reliant on mobile phones to access the internet.