Toyota Partners with Google Places for Local Targeting

Toyota is hoping to draw eyes to its latest banner ads for Corolla and Camry by calling out consumers in thousands of American cities.

A new series of banner ads from Toyota’s “Let’s Go Places” campaign will suggest local activities, such as visiting museums and local eateries, to consumers on desktop and mobile. To make the ads, Toyota and Google Places created a new API to pull location-specific data from over 15,000 U.S. cities to offer unique calls-to-action in the ads. For example, the ads may suggest museums in L.A. or restaurants in Denver.

With the campaign, Toyota is hoping to combat banner blindness with location appeal – drawing attention and clicks by giving a shout out to user location. “[‘Let’s Go Places’] features several new digital elements in the Toyota playbook that are intended to encourage our customers to interact with the world immediately around them and to feel a different sense of [the brand] than they may have in the past,” says Dionne Colvin-Lovely, director of traditional and new media for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.

To offer the right content to the right user, Toyota is using data based on consumer interests to create programmatic ads that feel completely personal, according to Jason Schragger, chief creative officer at Saatchi LA, the agency behind the campaign.

“Across different platforms we can use data to target different consumers in different ways,” Schragger says. “If they’re into museums, we’ll serve them that. If they’re foodies, we’ll show them food. One of the really exciting things is working with personalizing programmatic so as it’s viewed, we’re able to put together the ads people really want to see. For example, our office is in Torrance [California]. An ad for me would say, ‘There’s seven museums in Torrance.’ It’s about finding the right piece of data to find a really interesting piece of your city then take that curiosity and make it relevant.”

And to make sure the message stays aligned with user interests, the brand is A/B testing thousands of different combinations of ads to make sure the campaign continues to suggest activities customers actually want to hear about.

“We have so many measures [for the campaign],” Schragger says. “Do people stop? Do they click the ad? We want the brand to shift to where it stands alone in a place where no other car brands are yet, so we have to dig in to that data and find the interest levels that make the most sense. For us, it’s all about getting the ads out into the market and testing them to be able to quickly change content. We may think people are most interested in the car’s exterior and have to change images when we find out it’s the interior. If people aren’t interested in restaurants, we may have to change it to nightclubs.”

To further promote the geolocation-centric campaign, Toyota is also sponsoring a set of user-generated Snapchat Local Stories that will be targeted to viewers in relevant cities. Those videos are set to roll out in August.

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