New model The&Partnership debuts for Toyota Europe with ‘We Choose Hybrid’

The biggest agency coup of last year was The&Partnership’s raid on Toyota Europe, previously parked at Saatchi & Saatchi. T&P and its media agency m/SIX won all Toyota’s work to add to its Lexus business. In April the agency opened 16 offices in 15 countries to service the massive account, working alongside Toyota’s marketing teams – no mean achievement in itself.

Toyota is world leader in hybrid vehicles, with seven models and, clearly, the opportunity to grow as we’ve somewhat belatedly been apprised that diesel – formerly the eco-choice – is actually poisoning us all.

So the line is: ‘We Choose Hybrid,’ showing thaty all sorts of people – not “tree huggers” in the agency’s words – are now switching to hybrids.

Here’s the launch film.

Fundamental to all this is a media strategy from media agency m/SIX with over 150 pieces of digital content targeting people with information tailored to their understanding of hybrids to try to overcome the barriers most likely to confront them. If you’re in the market for a new car you’ll get more detailed material. Which sounds slightly ominous but it’s the holy grail these days.

Toyota Motor Europe senior manager brand and communications Dario Giustini says: “At Toyota, we are proud to be world leaders in hybrid technology – with a growing customer-base of ten million Toyota Hybrid drivers. We wanted a progressive, customer-centric, communications campaign – aiming to inform and educate as well as driving awareness of our market-leading range of seven hybrid models. We hope our ‘We Choose Hybrid’ platform will inspire many more people to join this rapidly growing movement.”

ECD of T&P’s Team Toyota Andre Moreira says: “Our data showed that most drivers still have a limited understanding of the benefits offered by hybrid technology, and that there were significant misconceptions about the people who choose hybrid vehicles (no, they’re not all tree-huggers). The ‘We Choose Hybrid’ platform aims to remove those misconceptions by celebrating the ten million progressive drivers who already made that Hybrid choice.”

Seems bang on strategy: my son, reckons that, for example, real men don’t drive Range Rover Evoques and Mercedes SLKs (won’t tell you what he thinks about Toyota Prius drivers). So there’s a barrier or two to overcome. If m/SIX has indeed got its media strategy right Toyota will doubtless sell more hybrids.

The film? Most agencies’ debut for motor companies reflects an iron determination not to drop the ball in their own half and so does this. We’ll see what comes next.

MAA creative scale: 6.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.