A car ad on the stall door of a public bathroom? Might not be a bad idea if you're trying to sell to the 18-to-33-year-old group.
Toyota is considering such ideas generated this summer by college students participating in the 1999 National Student Advertising Competition. Their assignment: Create a campaign to market the new Echo to the young people Toyota is trying to reach.
Students, including the winning team from UCLA, presented creative traditional forms of advertising, but also developed unusual ads designed for such places as beaches or the stall doors in public bathrooms.
UCLA's winning theme, 'It's a Car,' included drink coasters with pictures of a Bloody Mary version of the Echo, complete with a celery stalk. There was also an Echo 'on the rocks.' The coasters also carry an anti-drunk-driving message: 'Friends don't let friends drive drunk.'
The event was co-sponsored by Toyota and the American Advertising Federation, an association of corporate advertisers, agencies, media companies, suppliers and academia.
About 4,000 students representing more than 200 schools participated in this year's program, the largest turnout in the competition's 26-year history. 'The quality of the creativity is fantastic,' says Scott Grant, national manager for the Genesis Group, a Toyota marketing team charged with finding ways to reach the youth market. 'The (students') work has been really inspiring to us.'