Monday, February 15, 2010

Toyota Engages NASCAR fans

I don’t know about you, but the several feet of snow in front of my house is really inhibiting my lifestyle. I’m spending even more time than usual with popular culture, including lots of unavoidable advertising. Which brings me to my viewing of the Daytona 500 NASCAR race on Sunday, which was a sheer act of desperation. I cannot think of anything more boring than watching automobile racing. Yes, I know it’s the fastest growing sport (is it a sport?) in the United States. But don’t count me among its fans. One of the ads I saw was for Toyota racing, which directed the viewer to their website. It’s a really interactive website, and provides a good example of participatory advertising. In particular, I was drawn to the “Design it. Enter it” link that enabled the participant to do all kinds of fun things to a race car. And when finished, you can submit it to a contest. I spent a good deal of time playing around with this pretty cool feature (you can now tell I’m really stir-crazy!). I bring this to your attention, because I spent a considerable amount of time with this brand, and that’s the goal of participatory advertising: to create deep engagement that is sustained over time. Engagement is the new metric (way to measure) advertising effectiveness. We all know that most 30-second commercials go in one ear and out the other, so if an advertiser can get you to participate with their brand in some form or fashion over a sustained period of time, the likely result is deep engagement. Different brands go about it different ways – Starbucks is the pre-eminent user of multiple engagement platforms. But this Toyota website is a good example of how the “new” advertising works. Check it out and let me know what you think – even if you aren’t a fan of Danica Patrick.


Jojoseph said...

Professor Alperstein, you are so right, I just designed my own car and posted and linked the site to facebook for people to see. I think this is a great form of advertising and I'm not even a fan of Nascar racing, I honestly know nothing about the sport besides the fact that its people racing against eachother. I do know about the race jackets because at one point a lot of people in New York were wearing race jackets that had cartoon characters and other advertisements similarily to the racers who have all these brands being advertised on their clothing and especially on their cars. Therefore to be able to make a car and maybe even see it raced on the track is very exciting and a great way to get people involved. I actually enjoyed designing my car and can see myself soon having a garage filled with cars if I'm bored enough.

Christine Montemurro said...

I thought this was interesting because after class last week, a classmate and I spent over an hour on the Dunkin Donuts website designing our own prize winning donuts. After we finished submitting our donuts, we even showed our roommates and friends. I can imagine that this is the "thing advertisers dream about". I spent an hour on the website, I passed the word on to my friends, and by the end of the day I was craving donuts.

Ashley said...

I'm sure this was a good way to encourage consumer participation from Toyota customers online but these days I think Toyota probably isn't getting to much traffic on its website unless it’s to see what models have flaws in them or to take down company contact information for lawyers who will soon be calling to file a lawsuit. Like you said today in class professor, Toyota is past the point of remedial advertising and will be paying hefty fees for a long time. I, for one, wonder if there will be a Toyota left when this recall business is all said and done.