Multi-pronged Toyota Prius C ad campaign aimed to attract millennials

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 15, 2012

Toyota's recently launched "city" variant of its hybrid Prius will be featured in a multi-pronged advertising campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi L.A. that focuses on games and fun in an effort to attract the Millennial Generation. The campaign combines a tie-in with Hasbro's Game of Life just like in the esteemed board game that dates back to 1860.

This will be launched across various platforms that include a pair of TV spots beginning this month as well as digital programming in partnership with Pandora, YouTube and Hulu, among others. Also ongoing is a novel vehicle configurator online for potential owners. It will also provide financing advice and plans for broad-based print and out-of-home spending. 

Even if some may relate board games such as the Game of Life with an older generation, Toyota finds it suitable with the digital-savvy millennials. Strategic planning director Sara Bamossy for the Saatchi office related that their research revealed that their target group who are 25 to 35 years old sees "life as a game...not fun and frivolous, but purposeful."  

In searching for a property, Toyota and the agency engaged Hasbro to license the campaign material. Bamossy stated that the agency found that many in the target demographic grew up playing the Life board game and that they view real life as a constant media stream of information. This target market also loves social games, Bamossy added.

One of the 30-second spots features a cartoonish take on Life. It is full of bright colors and simplistic, toy-like images called "Multi-poo." It will then be followed this month by a spot dubbed "Dolphin Tattoo." These spots will be shown on network TV shows "The Simpsons" and "30 Rock," among others.

The key feature of the Hybrid Synergy Drive inside the Toyota Prius is the way it manages to combine the operation of different parts. There is of course the gas-powered engine and the electric motor that is inside the Continuously Variable Transaxle. Other parts include the power control unit, also known as inverter, a step-up converter, DC-DC converter, and the nickel-metal hydride battery.

Then there is the hybrid control computer which is tasked with how the electric power and the gas engine are applied in order to meet the demands of the driver and to adapt to the driving mode. One part of the hybrid system is the battery pack which offers 114 volts. Not only has it been placed just below the passenger seat in the rear, it is located near the vehicle’s center.

Add in the fact that the battery pack is in the low region of the chassis and this ultimately means that the Toyota Prius c has an improved center of gravity. For the gas engine, it is the SULEV rated, Tier 2 Bin 3, four-cylinder in-line 1.5-liter unit. Since it makes use of the Atkinson cycle, efficiency is increased allowing it to deliver output at 73 hp with peak torque at 82 lb.-ft.

Thus, the total output of the system is at 99 hp. As mentioned earlier, one factor that affects the hybrid control computer is the driving mode. For the Toyota Prius c, there are 3 such modes which is Normal mode, Eco mode, and the EV mode. Under Eco mode, the system controls the throttle and climate control in order to lower energy consumption which in turn enhances efficiency.

For the EV mode and when the situation calls for it, it allows the Toyota Prius c to use only electric power for less than 1 mile and a drive slower than 25 mph. Another key aspect of the Toyota Prius c is that handling and safety have been improved. By making use of high-strength yet lightweight steel, it was possible to lower the mass of the model and thus improve the fuel economy.

The use of this material also meant that occupant safety was better as it gave this model a better chance to absorb, as well as disperse, any impact energies. In terms of handling, the body has a high level when it comes to torsional rigidity, thus allowing for the suspension to be specifically tuned for enhanced handing and ride.

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