Thursday, February 18, 2010
Toyota, Gov't anti-Toyota campaign, PR and Great Ads
A great article in the Wall Street Journal recently highlighted the Toyota spectacle, which has become slightly surreal, as a few uncertain questions about "sudden acceleration" morphed into a media and political firestorm over the safety of its entire fleet. It is also proving an interesting case study in the treacherous politics that accompany government ownership of U.S. industry. As a media and marketing professional, it is painful to see how a brand built on quality totally gets its image turned over in such a short time, while doing, in my opinion, a fairly good job with damage control under the circumstances. It's not like domestic car-makers have never had similar issues, just remember the job that Edward Norton's character had in "Fight-Club" determining whether there were enough accidents with a certain car to do a recall. Yes, it's fiction, but as with all good scripts, probably not a far cry from reality. With all this negative press, I figured that I'll do my part to balance the scale and point to something positive: Toyota has launched a new campaign called: “Sponsafy Your Ride” for their involvement in NASCAR in 2010. It pokes fun at the UGC and brand sponsorship trends in a very clever way, showing that Toyota can be a fun brand too. Go figure.