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Sibling site Adjab posted an interesting marketing ploy. Toyota Motor Co. is currently advertising its Scion brand on Whyville.net, a website frequented by eight to fifteen year olds. Why? Toyota's theory is that such youngsters will influence their parents' vehicle choices as well as be more pre-disposed to the brand once they're of driving age. Such strategies are not new: Cadillac and DaimlerChrysler both have their vehicles in video games played by teens and young adults. Toyota's strategy, though, is aimed at a populace who can't even drive let alone seriously purchase any vehicle.

However, the strategy may be working. "Scion" appeared more frequently on the site shortly after the program started and many visitors played with their virtual vehicles.

What's your opinion? New advertising method or money wasted on the fickle minds of youth?

[Source: New York Times via Adjab]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      You guys are all taking this wrong. First of all, most of whyville's 1.5 million viewers are ages 13-16. Second of all, Scion made a "slow" approach to whyville. Only accomplished citizens of whyville whith a large amount of whyville currency can buy a scion. Most teens around that age are interested in cars and what kind of cars they want to have when they are sixteen and older. I think toyota made a good decision to advertise the scion xb on a popular website because the virtual scions are much like real scions. They are not free, they can be customized, and they have ups and downs that you need to consider so it is a perfect edition to the educational website.
      • 8 Years Ago
      So does John work for Scion or whyville's ad dept?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Seesh as if children were not influenced enough by media.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I seldom see a difference in maturity between 8 year olds and 18 year olds. I blame their parents.
      Mark Mcelroy
      • 8 Years Ago
      Scion is just another ugly no style box with wheels And I'm happy to see only one or two on my daily commutes! I would not drive one even if it got 75 to 100 miles a gallon.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, the Xb does look like it was designed by Fisher-Price... I can also see the day where the pink "Barbie Dream Scion" hits the market ! (GAK!) :(
      • 8 Years Ago
      THE ALL NEW ACURA RDX
      • 8 Years Ago
      its called the nagging factor
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, Scion led a recent survey of auto manufacturers on how far their dollars reached. I can't remember the link, but Scion spent less money than any other brand to reach a greater number of people. They have chosen to pursue less common marketing ploys, such as sponsoring art and music programs. Seems to be working so far, who HASN'T heard of Scion?
      • 8 Years Ago
      You know, my 4-year old loves my Scion ... so it's not a bad idea. But given the horrible experience I've had trying to get service for my Scion, even her opinion won't matter next time I'm in the market for a car. Back to Honda for me!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Thanks to John for actually doing a little research before posting - he is correct, Scion's involvement is more complex and sophisticated than just advertising. In fact, what Scion is really doing with Whyville is exploring a quite different way to engage the public with a product. The Scion supported activity in Whyville is fully embedded into a complex virtual / social world -- it just so happens that there is a synergy between Scion's marketing emphasis on customization and individual expression, and what whyville is all about -- Scion knows something that much of the rest of the commercial world doesn't yet get -- the interactive nature of the internet is fundamentally changing what a whole new generation of kids is expecting from media, and also from the products they buy. So, the key, and I think, interesting point, is not that Scion's marketing department has decided to invest in Whyville -- it is that that investment isn't really in the form of advertising as we have known it for the past many years. Scion sponsored an activity in whyville that involves its product -- the response of Whyville's users is directly related to the "involved" part. This is what the internet can do for thousands at a time, and whyville can do in particular -- whether for Scion or for the Getty Museum. The reason to do this in a web site for kids, is that kids are the ones that are driving this change.

      Oh yes, and nobody named John works for us -- I know, I am CEO of Numedeon Inc. , which created whyville. :-) However, maybe I should offer John a position in our non-existant Ad department. lol

      Just thought I'd throw in my $ .02



      • 8 Years Ago
      They must have hired the Joe Camel guy.