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Toyota challenges Greek bloggers

May 31, 2007 at 10:48 by Martina Comments

Thanks to Panos, I’ve found out about an interesting “blog marketing” campaign carried out by Toyota in Greece. I’m glad to post about it since it extends the coverage on online marketing in Europe, but also because Panos shared quite a lot of numbers and insights, which are not so common to find and share….
For the launch of their new hatchback model, the Auris, Toyota Hellas wanted a digital campaign that would promote the new car’s interior design and the feel drivers get when sitting inside the Auris’ modern “cockpit”. The campaign needed to actively engage consumers with the brand, to generate leads and “test-drive” requests.
toyota_test_drive_blogs.jpg
OgilvyOne Athens decided to think “Web 2.0″ and find a way to invite consumers to do most of the talking and promoting. So Greek bloggers were invited to test-drive the car for a week if they would post their findings on their respective blogs, which would also be collected into a central blog, at http://www.aurisblog.gr. At the same time, a banner campaign invited the general public to request a test-drive, which could also win them a 4-star hotel weekend in Greece with of course the Auris at their disposal.


The Auris Blog campaign lasted for 10 weeks. There were 85 requests from Greek Bloggers and the car was given to 15 of them after a careful selection process. 55 different posts were written, most of them including photos and videos. (A digital camera was given as a gift to the bloggers in order to get multimedia content from them). There were 175 comments to the posts.
The Auris Blog had more than 52.000 visits by 41.000 unique visitors and the overall response rate of the banner campaign was at 4.75%. More importantly, 2.000 test-drive requests were submitted from this campaign, accounting for 50% of the total test-drive requests received through all channels (phone, in-store, events or promotions).

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6 Responses to Toyota challenges Greek bloggers

  1. jojo says:

    I think this is a very poor initiative. And those never ending clips were so uninformative… You could have been in any car for that matter. Also, not sure how much of the interior I experienced from the clips other that corny descriptions from unexciting drivers. Curious to know what’s so web 2.0 about the this, not that it matters.

  2. Yuliya says:

    This has been done before by Opel and Universal McCann in Germany. This is the case study that was published in Cream magazine/ cmdglobal.com:
    A host of brands have got into trouble recently over undeclared consumer champions in the blogosphere. Creating a “big me up” blog without declaring your backing is viewed very poorly by consumers.
    So this campaign is a great example of how to use the medium properly, effectively and at the same time be respectful of the consumer.
    The challenge for the Opel Astra was to get consumers to rethink their attitudes to the brand. Poor image was a barrier to booking a test drive but test drives are a powerful trigger for reappraisal, positive perceptions and ultimately purchase.
    The way round this conundrum was to find a way to create credible third-party recommendations to get consumers into the showrooms.
    The media solution was to find four of the most popular German general interest bloggers, give them an Astra for four weeks and ask them to write, photograph, videocast and podcast their thoughts on the car.
    The key was that they were free to write whatever they liked, there was no payment or censorship, the first time this approach had been tried in Germany. All the comments would also be aggregated on an Astra blog as well as appearing on their normal sites.
    This simple piece of consumer testing produced a mass of test driver content. It got people talking about Opel with 199 pages linking to the Astra blog site. Opel was mentioned nearly 4,500 times during the campaign period and more than 12,500 people downloaded MC Winkel’s videocast. Two of the bloggers made it into the top 10 of the German blog charts.
    German sports TV station DSF responded to the campaign by making a five minute news story about the Opel Blog, illustrating the strong PR buzz created by this novel approach.
    And bloggers who specialise in writing about VW also started asking to be given cars for free as well…

  3. Tom Struyf says:

    Volvo also did this in Belgium for their Volvo C30 launch.
    http://www.mijnc30mening.be/

  4. jojo says:

    Well, a unique idea by OgilvyOne Athens for this blog marketing campaign. Interesting…

  5. Panos says:

    Dear jojo, I’d guess you’re either really offended by the campaign we did (I wonder why), or really pissed it’s getting publicity (I can imagine why).
    If you want to imply we copied the idea from the campaigns mentioned above, I have to inform you we didn’t and couldn’t. None of us talks German or French, and even if we did, we never knew about these initiatives.
    It was very nice to find out that similar campaigns had taken place in other markets, and it goes to show how powerful it is when you give the chance to the consumer to voice his experiences with your brand. (Something that you didn’t like I guess, judging from your first comment above).
    Congrats to all.

  6. jojo says:

    Dear Panos,
    I am not offended by the campaign nor bothered from its “publicity”. I do think campaigns coming out from Athens are mainly a mimic. I’d have applauded an original, well executed idea no matter where it came from. I just don’t think this is one of them.
    BTW, You don’t have to speak French nor German to know what’s happening creatively in the respective countries, or any other country for that matter. If the language is stopping you, that shows ignorance.

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