Toyota is using a virtual Rubik's Cube to push its Rav4 model to Hispanic audiences.
According to the brand, the game, which can be found on the Toyota Latino Facebook page, replicates the kinesthetic hand-eye movements used when playing with an actual Rubik's Cube.
"Intuitive gestures allow the user to rotate rows and columns, as well as to rotate the cube three-dimensionally in space to see all sides," the brand says.
Players can undo and redo moves, as well as restart the cube all over again as they try to solve the puzzle. They can also click solve to watch the cube do the work for them.
What's more, consumers can create personalized Rubik's Cubes by selecting photos from their Facebook albums. In addition to a user's image, the personalized Rav4 Rubik's Cubes display images of the Rav4 and the Toyota logo.
Toyota would not disclose how many users have interacted with the virtual Rubik's Cube to date. However, in a prepared statement, David Chung, national manager of targeted advertising and strategy for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., said thousands of customized Rubik's Cubes have been made and shared to date.
In fact, as a result of the campaign, Toyota says one in three virtual Rubik's Cubes have been shared on Facebook and/or Twitter and the average daily fans of Toyota Latino on Facebook grew by 107% "compared to average daily fans during a similar time frame before the campaign launch."
Toyota Latino has 100,000 likes and @ToyotaLatino has 3,100 followers. That's compared to 1.7 million likes and 200,000 followers for Toyota USA overall.
The Rav4 Rubik's Cube can be used with Android and iOS devices.
The virtual Rubik's Cube is an extension of the brand's RAV4: Ready 4 What's Next campaign in which Toyota has appeared at live events at select locations in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago such as Times Square and Citi Field. Like the virtual edition, during these events, about 3,000 visitors have created personalized Rubik's Cubes featuring their photos, but have received a physical version to take home.
According to Javier Moreno, manager of corporate communications at Toyota Motor North America, the brand was looking for a campaign that would allow it to speak to the Latino market directly. What's more, he says the Rav4 is one of the core products Toyota markets to Latinos and it is one of the top five vehicles sold to Latinos.
"We wanted to convey that the RAV4 is versatile, just like a Rubik's Cube. We also wanted to align the brand [and] vehicle with a product that is recognizable by multiple generations," Moreno adds.
In addition, Annalise Rodli, management supervisor at Conill Advertising, says the Rav4 Rubik's Cube can be experienced in both English and Spanish and a lot of promotion for the campaign takes place on Toyota Latino USA's pages on Facebook and Twitter.
In a September 2013 press release, Toyota cited data from automotive research firm Polk that said Toyota garners more than 16 percent of the U.S. Latino car-buying market.
According to Rubik's official website, Budapest's Ernö Rubik invented the Cube in 1974. His inspiration for the internal workings of what he called the Magic Cube came from pebbles whose edges had been smoothed away. It was renamed the Rubik's Cube by the Ideal Toy Corporation in 1980. More than 300 million Rubik's Cubes have been sold worldwide to date.
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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.