Toyota Prius

 

Toyota Prius I-440 Stunt

In the summer of 2016, Toyota Motor Sales and Southeast Toyota joined together to reach millennials in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.

In their initial push, they invited 10 locals to try the new Toyota Prius for a week. Users were encouraged to drive the car around town, sharing their photographs and experiences with the car using the hashtag #TriPrius.

We were invited to participate in the campaign, but decided to try something a little different.

We knew that the Prius gets great gas milage, but the newest model has a sportier, sleeker look. Like true southerners, we joked about taking the car to a local NASCAR track to see how it would perform. But then it hit us. We have our own public “racetrack” just a short drive from our front door: the 16-mile stretch of highway that encircles the city of Raleigh, known as the Beltline.

“We have seen great success in working with non-traditional media to promote the Toyota brand,” said Christie Caliendo, public relations lead at Southeast Toyota Distributors. “Our influencer campaigns throughout the Southeast have enabled Toyota to tap into new brand ambassadors who generate authentic online content, allowing us to reach and appeal to various segments of the market.”

Before we took off, we created a 45-second teaser video (seen below) to promote the experience. The response on social media—namely, people asking how they could join in—caused us to rethink our approach on the fly. We decided to pick up as many people as we could along the highway and take them for a lap.

 

After outfitting the car with 4 GoPros, 3 audio recorders, and 2 Big Gulps™, recruiting a camera operator to hang out of a production vehicle with a FS700 on the highway, and topping off the tank, we began our adventure.

“We continue to see great value in working with creative influencers, like the amazing team at Myriad Media, who have a unique voice and approach to generating authentic online content. The #40on440 concept was the perfect fit for our Toyota Prius push – they highlighted its fuel economy and stylish new design in a fun and interactive way.”

Christie Caliendo, Public Relations Lead for Southeast Toyota Distributors

As we traveled, we encouraged people to tweet song requests and questions for our passengers. We drove for 14 hours, and during that time, we held a meeting with a Raleigh city councilor, enjoyed to a backseat acoustic set by musician, watched a live sketch by an artist, talked music and coding with a DJ, and hung out with a Raleigh-based environmental engineer and her Great Dane.

When the the tank ran out, we had traveled 500 miles on 11 gallons of gas, for a total of 18 laps around the Beltline. We created the accompanying case study video to document the day, as well as several short interview clips with each of our passengers that we could share on social media.

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