Toyota Launches Social Network for Hybrid Owners

Car enthusiasts love to talk about their vehicles, and now Toyota is giving the proud owners of its hybrid vehicles their very own social network in order to better do so.

Toyota has relaunched its Web site at Toyota.com/hybrids to allow hybrid owners to post videos, share photos and meet other owners. It’s also challenged owners to discuss their reasons for buying a hybrid vehicle. The site has already registered nearly 10,000 users.

The site was designed by Saatchi & Saatchi LA and Enjoy User Experience, and was produced by multimedia firm Firstborn.

Along with the ability to group owners by attributes like age and even vehicle color, the site offers features like an interactive map and a gas savings calculator. By providing a space for owners to group together, Toyota has an opportunity to reach them with targeted messages in the future, according to Ryan Thomas, executive producer for Firstborn.

“It’s this idea of pulling together these aspects of social networking and things that are out there with the purpose of connecting people in the hybrid community and providing them information,” said Thomas. “Without the overall blasted-out-there message, hopefully this is a little more subtle and personalized.”

Thomas added the site’s users may eventually be invited to contribute to Toyota’s television advertising. “We’d like to pick some of the real world people to use in commercials,” he said.

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