Toyota Motor Corp. is offering computer users a Web tool bar application that it hopes will keep its Scion brand at the top of their minds, as well as on their desktops and laptops.
The technology is part of the cutting-edge advertising Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. is introducing to market the youth-oriented Scion brand.
Users download the tool bar onto their browser. The tool bar appears as graphics instead of text.
A Scion icon is visible at all times on the tool bar. Therefore, every time users look at their computers, they see the brand.
Toyota wants to attract computer users who have identified themselves as potential buyers of Scion's new tC sports coupe. The company is targeting men between the ages of 18 and 25.
The tool bar is available at the Web site wanttc.com. A tab on the tool bar takes users directly to the site.
The tC Web site opened its virtual doors to 100,000 visitors in June, says Adrian Si, Scion's interactive marketing manager. About 10,000 users have visited the tool bar download page. About 1,400 downloaded the application.
Si says visitors spend an average of 10 minutes on Scion's main Web site, which has 3,000 registered users. The automaker says it can't track how many Web visitors become Scion buyers.
But Si says he expects the tool bar to build brand awareness.
"This helps us brand better, because people put it up on their browser, and their friends come over and see it, and it creates word of mouth," Si says.
High response rates aren't as important as reaching the right young customers in the right way, Si says.
"We're all about the consumer deciding what they're interested in," he says. "We don't want to shove it down their throat."
The tC Web site includes information designed to pique a visitor's interest about the car. Potential buyers can build a virtual customized vehicle by choosing among 40 accessories. They can open the doors, trunk and hood. They can change views from interior to exterior or even the undercarriage.
Consumers who register at the site can receive e-mail alerts about Scion-related events. Scion says its dealer locator Web page has attracted 20,000 page views.
Kris Oser writes for Advertising Age, a sister publication to Automotive News.