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Southeast Toyota to Millennials: Unexpect Everything With 2014 Corolla

  |  October 21, 2013   |  Comments

Southeast Toyota's campaign includes a Tumblr with art, photos, custom videos and a flash-based game, resulting in part from partnerships with YouTube influencers and bloggers.

graffitiTo market the redesigned 2014 Corolla to a millennial audience, Southeast Toyota Distributors, which calls itself the world's largest independent distributor of Toyotas and Scions, and says its dealers sell approximately 20 percent of all Toyotas sold in the U.S., has launched a Tumblr campaign. Unexpect Everything, just like the compact car at the center of the campaign, has a lot of moving parts.

Southeast Toyota worked with Atlanta and Tampa based ad agency 22squared on the campaign, which includes influencer marketing, as well as broadcast, social, digital, mobile, search, desktop gaming, experiential and in-dealership components.

Unexpect Everything will feature more than 300 pieces of content, including Corolla art by photographer Jack Parker and photos and videos from 15 influencers in Southeast Toyota's five-state region, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina.

These so-called influencers will be given access to local experiences and a 2014 Corolla, so they can share their interaction via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine and Tumblr. Southeast Toyota asked for five social interactions from each blogger, says Julie Tullis, marketing communications manager of Southeast Toyota. In return, they received three to four days with the car.

According to Tullis, these bloggers "align with certain categories that align with the car" such as DIYers, foodies, gamers and sports enthusiasts.

Southeast Toyota also partnered with YouTube influencers such as Ogeeku founder Jon Brence and singer Tyler Ward to create custom video content for the campaign, including the CorollaCade, an arcade-style virtual reality driving experience that integrates car features like Bluetooth, backup camera, LED headlamps and moonroof, and a new music video from Ward, Forever Starts Tonight, which has 207,000 views as of October 18.

A CorollaCade behind-the-scenes video from Ogeeku has 27,000 views as of October 18.

Ogeeku calls itself "ultimate destination for intellectual discussion, insightful rants, reviews and thought-provoking opinions on what it means to truly be a ‘geek' in the modern day."

A rep says CorollaCade is housed at Ogeeku's headquarters in Los Angeles.

Another YouTube influencer, sWooZie, test drove CorollaCade in his own video, Epic Test Drive, which has 228,000 views as of October 18. A rep says the video is also posted on Unexpect Everything.

In addition, Evolve Media has developed the BFF Launcher, a flash-based game that allows players to virtually catch their friends through the moonroof of a Corolla and is housed on Unexpect Everything.

Tumblr users can browse the site by feature or tags, which include LOL, ART and GIF. They can also view offers and inventory if they're interested in buying a Corolla.

According to Southeast Toyota, an AutoTrader.com study found 70 percent of younger millennials consider infotainment features must-haves, so the brand created content in "millennial-centric channels" to generate awareness, increase engagement and drive advocacy for the Corolla.

"The car over the years has been a car that's widely appealed to a lot of people - younger, older, in the middle - because it's very vanilla, but the most recent redesign is bolder and much more aggressive. This is our first real aggressive attempt to say something significant to Millennials," Tullis says. "We believe we hit a home run in terms of what we can offer that specific audience."

In fact, she says a first read of sales shows an increase of more than 35 percent in that target age group.

Southeast Toyota is using #UnexpectEverything and #2014Corolla to push the campaign. It says its combined dealer Facebook fan base includes more than 365,000 consumers.

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Lisa Lacy

Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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