Automotive 2021

Toyota’s 36th America’s Cup campaign, In Crazy We Believe, faced lockdowns, sponsors aplenty and ambitious brand objectives – meaning the stakes were high to achieve cut-through and results.

Driving brand love

The challenge

Driving brand love among Kiwis has long been critical to Toyota’s success. For 29 years, the brand’s partnership with Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) has given Toyota a direct line into the hearts of Kiwis and created a platform for stories of innovation, design and performance.

This time, Toyota set out to strengthen the brand and reach new audiences. They needed the campaign to win over young, urban technology-seekers while also building on their traditional 40+ target. They also needed to drive reappraisal of Toyota as a brand of the future and energise the organisation from top to bottom. Toyota has historically brought Kiwis together to support ETNZ, creating strong community associations. But this time, they had to elevate themselves above the role of supplier and present themselves as part of the team on a deeper level. This was going to be their biggest 2020 brand moment.

The Response

Toyota kicked into action in September 2019 and set a sales objective of selling 60 units of the ETNZ Limited Edition Prado over four months. Then along came Covid-19. This disrupted planned media roll-out and fundamentally changed the country’s priorities. Toyota’s planned tour of the Auld Mug around dealerships was cancelled amid fluctuating alert levels, so they couldn’t conduct their community engagement programme. ETNZ was running a tight ship budget-wise, so despite their long-standing partnership with Toyota, Toyota had to compete with an array of sponsors, many with deep marketing budgets. Even the tiniest sponsors could leverage off the team and add to the noise. The complexities of the campaign also meant mass collaboration across internal and external stakeholders. A marketing-led taskforce was developed to achieve this; internally, it spanned eight different groups, each responsible for different KPIs.

The result

ETNZ had the better crew and the faster boat, and it proved a winning formula for Toyota, too. The brand had the highest brand association of all sponsors at 41 percent – double that of Spark, despite equal SOV over the campaign. All 60 units of the Limited Edition Prado sold out in just one month, generating $5,099,400 in sales. Toyota captured both their 40+ heartland and the younger and tech-savvy via the media, with 96 percent of Kiwis reached across all channels. The brand achieved 71 minutes of in-broadcast coverage: 43 minutes of in-programme interviews with 16 ETNZ crew members, 19 minutes of audience interaction and sailing stories and nine minutes of Toyota ambassador interviews. Seventy-six percent of audiences loved the segments in the pre-show build up, which was mirrored on social, doubling the CVTR (15 percent vs 7.6 percent) and CTR by +31 percent (1.33 percent vs 1.01 percent) of crafted agency messaging. Ultimately, In Crazy We Believe was a timely reminder that emotional connection beats tangible connection for the masses.  

Category: Automotive

Company: Toyota New Zealand

Marketing Initiative: Toyota & ETNZ – In Crazy We Believe

Marketing Partners: Saatchi & Saatchi, Wright Comms, Starcom, Digitas, TVNZ

Judges’ Comments: “A fantastic example of leveraging and keeping fresh a long-running partnership. Clearly grounded in a strategy that connected internal buy-in with the winning of the hearts and minds of New Zealanders. Great results across the organisational objectives.”

Finalists: Toyota New Zealand

This article was first published in the 2021 December/January issue of NZ Marketing magazine.

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