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Toyota Speaks to Consumers With Voice Activated Mobile Ads

  |  January 14, 2014   |  Comments

The ads allow consumers to learn more about apps available in Toyota’s Entune system -- which also uses voice-activated technology -- by speaking their selections.

toyota-millennial-nuanceToyota has a new mobile advertising campaign for its 2014 Corolla that incorporates voice-activated technology.

According to mobile advertising and data platform Millennial Media, the campaign "highlights the all-new 2014 Corolla and lets consumers engage in a two-way conversation with the ad unit to mimic the experience of Entune Audio, Toyota's innovative in-vehicle multimedia and telematics system with speech recognition."

Both Millennial Media and Entune use technology from voice and language technology company Nuance Communications.

When a consumer clicks on the Toyota ad, Millennial's 'Show and Tell' ad unit gives the user images of three apps available on the Entune system: iHeartradio, Weather and Text to Speech.

The ad unit asks consumers to say which app they would like to find out more about and then highlights the selected app's features, as showcased in a YouTube video from Millennial Media.

The Toyota campaign runs on iOS and Android devices.

Mike McSherry, vice president of advertising at Nuance, says he seeks to give brands the same technology that is increasingly available in consumer electronics and allows devices like TVs to become more conversational and personalized.

Another bonus for voice technology: interactivity can be limited by the size of a handheld device's screen, but voice can expand information retrieval to an almost unlimited scope, McSherry adds.

Other brands with recent similar campaigns include Best Buy and Ford.

McSherry did not know what apps the Toyota ads were placed in but says, "I imagine they're proliferated across dozens, hundreds, maybe even thousands of apps" such as Angry Birds or the New York Times.

"With Millennial Media's Show and Tell unit, we were able to convey the key benefits of Entune's voice recognition feature the way users would experience natively in an all-new 2014 Corolla," said Dionne Colvin-Lovely, national media marketing manager at Toyota, in a prepared statement. "We wanted to develop an experience that packaged key product messages in a fun and authentic way the Corolla target would notice and appreciate."

A Toyota rep did not respond to a request for comment.


Lisa Lacy

In addition to ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, Lisa's 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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