Toyota and toy and game maker Hasbro have teamed up for an advertising campaign that’s sure to show the kids a thing or two about hybrid power. Automotive News reports that Toyota wants to drive the attention of millennials to the city version of its hybrid Prius, and the company is gearing up to do it via product placement in the Game of Life board game.
You can be a winner in a Toyota Prius C
As a tie-in with the Game of Life, the Toyota Prius C hybrid will appear in an advertising campaign that crosses multiple platforms, from print and television commercials to digital content on YouTube, Pandora, Hulu and other outlets. Potential buyers of the Toyota Prius C will also have a special online Prius configuration site for assembling the Prius of their dreams, accessing financing advice on that Prius and more.
Critics of the Toyota-Hasbro advertising mash-up question whether advertising via a board game – physical or digital – is the best way for the automaker to reach its target audience. However, Toyota sees digital-savvy millennials as being right in its gearbox.
“Our research showed that our target group of ages 25 to 35 views life as a game … not fun and frivolous, but purposeful,” said Sara Bamossy, strategic planning director for Los Angeles-based advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi, which is responsible for the Prius C campaign. “(We) found that many in the target demographic grew up playing the board game and that (real) life for them is a constant media stream of information, but they love social games, they might invent a game at work, and it bonds them together.”
Toyota’s take on the campaign
Bill Fay, the Toyota group’s vice president of marketing, said in a statement that the automaker did not take the decision to advertise the Toyota Prius C in Hasbro’s Game of Life lightly.
“(We) acknowledge the fact that buying a car is a big decision, as well as a new experience for many in this demographic,” said Fay. “We wanted to give our customers something entertaining, yet familiar, something they could identify with while introducing a vehicle to help them navigate this exciting new chapter in their lives.”
Toyota Prius C bio
Toyota’s new city-driving hybrid Prius line includes a midsize hatchback, a station wagon and two other grades. The former four-door continues the legacy of the original Prius. That model has sold more than 1 million units in the U.S. since its inception and at least three times more than that worldwide.
Each grade of Toyota Prius C will carry a Hybrid Synergy Drive 1.5-liter DOHC engine with a 60 hp magnetic AC synchronous motor (the VVT-i). Powered by a 144-volt nickel-metal hydride battery that creates an additional 25.9 hp of electronic push, the net output of the Toyota Prius C will be approximately 99 hp. Fuel economy for the new Prius, which starts at $18,950, is estimated at 53 mpg.