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How Toyota does 'heavy metal' music

Bustling auto plants around the world create symphonies of clacking metal and tools every day as vehicles move down assembly lines.

Toyota is embracing this fact in a new music-driven Corolla marketing push that gives the sedan’s assembly process the orchestra treatment.

Toyota Gifony allows people to mix the sights and sounds from the automaker’s plants in Blue Springs, Miss., and Georgetown, Ky., into rhythmic videos showing how the 2015 Corolla comes together.

People can choose from 45 GIFs — digital-image files that appear as looping images or videos — that provide quick snapshots of different aspects of the Corolla’s creation. The footage was taken at the Blue Springs plant where the Corolla is built, while the accompanying sounds were captured at the Georgetown factory where the Avalon and Camry are manufactured.

One of the GIFs features a 15,432-pound robot that’s playfully dubbed “Godzilla,” which lifts vehicles from the line to the inspection area. Each GIF has a description explaining what’s happening.

Once users create their mixes, the site mashes the sounds into one of 10 tracks that are automatically selected based on the tone of the GIFs.

Inspiration for Gifony came during a photo shoot for another project at Blue Springs, said Zoe Zeigler, Toyota’s assistant manager for corporate marketing. Zeigler said there’s something here for music lovers and gearheads alike.

Gifony launched last week. People can share their videos on Facebook and Twitter. They can download the custom tracks on SoundCloud.

“We really noticed the sights and sounds, and how exhilarating and energizing the plant itself was,” Zeigler said in an interview. “We thought, wow, there’s a really great opportunity here to show our customers and fans and music enthusiasts just how a Toyota car goes from a coil of steel to what’s parked in your driveway.”

To help promote Gifony, Toyota commissioned Internet DJ SoNevable to create a custom track with Gifony sounds that released last week. The video has drawn more than 850,000 views across his YouTube and Facebook accounts.

More influencers will join in the coming weeks.

Toyota will spread the word with advertising on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The automaker also will promote through targeted search and display ads, Zeigler said.

Toyota, digital ad agency 360i and sound engineers from Search Party collaborated on Gifony, which is a mash-up of “GIF” and “symphony.”

“We feel that music is a universal language. Everybody likes music. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from,” Zeigler said. “Connecting with our consumers in a unique way like this using music as the opportunity was really fun.”


You can reach Vince Bond Jr. at -- Follow Vince on Twitter: @VinceBond86

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