A full advertising and marketing campaign, entitled "The Power To Move Forward," will support the introduction of the all-new 2004 Prius gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle when it goes on sale in October, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., announced Sept. 10.
"The next generation Prius is a no-compromise vehicle that will appeal to mainstream buyers," says Deborah Wahl Meyer, Toyota's corporate marketing manager. "As a result, the new marketing campaign is designed to reach a wide range of buyers with increased use of mainstream media."
The Prius was the world's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle when it was introduced in 1997. Toyota expects U.S. Prius sales, which totaled 21,193 in 2002, to top 35,000 with the introduction of the new model. The new Prius has a completely redesigned exterior and a true midsize interior for five passengers, similar in size to the Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in America.
The 2004 Prius also is the first vehicle to feature Toyota's new Hybrid Synergy Drive®, which will be prominently featured in the ads. The new system helps improve fuel economy (an estimated combined city/highway average of 55 mpg, up from 48 mpg) and performance. It also produces up to 89 percent fewer smog forming emissions than conventional cars. The base price of the 2004 Prius will be unchanged at $19,995.
Toyota will add a second vehicle powered by Hybrid Synergy Drive, the Lexus RX 330 luxury sport utility vehicle, during 2004 and is targeting worldwide hybrid sales of about 300,000 by mid-decade.
"In the past, consumers may have wanted a more environmentally friendly vehicle, but felt they had to make sacrifices on performance and practicality," Wahl Meyer said. "Not anymore. The new Prius provides what consumers want -- and what society needs."
The advertising, developed by Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, will include 30 and 60 second versions of a television launch commercial entitled "Move Forward." Two additional commercials will be product-oriented, focusing on fuel economy, increased performance and the increased interior room of the Prius. Both product commercials will point out that the Prius never needs to be plugged in for recharging, still a common misconception among consumers.
The product commercials will begin appearing on "Meet The Press" and evening news shows in November, followed in February on network and cable shows including CSI Miami, Ed, Alias, Tech TV, Discovery Science and Court TV.
Other aspects of the Prius marketing campaign include:
- A print ad featuring an open letter from the President of Toyota Motor Corporation, Fujio Cho, stating the Prius "...is not an idea that's ahead of its time, it's an idea that cannot wait."
- Nine print ads, including three two-page spreads, stressing efficiency, performance and the increased size of the Prius.
- The first national radio ads for Toyota in recent memory. The spots highlighting Prius features will run on National Public Radio, in addition to mainstream radio stations.
- An "Engines of Change" tour for community leaders in 15 cities, providing an opportunity to drive and learn more about the new Prius. Another tour will travel to eight major markets and will be staged for consumers in more casual settings, including Whole Foods grocery stores.
- Major sponsorships of the American Lung Association's Asthma Walks, the Green House Network's Race To Stop Global Warming and the Yoga Expo in Los Angeles.
- More than 35 outdoor billboards in nine markets.
- Mapquest.com will highlight gas savings provided by a Prius when site visitors map out trips of 50 miles or more.
- Visitors to Toyota.com will to see the Hybrid Synergy Drive® through a 3D simulated driving experience demonstrating its many operating modes.
In another unique aspect of the campaign, the introductory commercial spot and print ads will share a common look with other ads used around the world, while the message, voice over and music will be tailored to fit local markets.
Toyota also will be looking to build on Prius' popularity among celebrities, which has earned it the title of "Unofficial Car of Hollywood." The Environmental Media Association, EMA, which works with the television, film and entertainment community in an effort to increase environmental awareness, is holding an opportunity drawing for one of the first 2004 Prius vehicles available in America.
In addition, print ads will appear in such publications as Entertainment Weekly