Brian Bolain knew traditional advertising alone wouldn't suffice to introduce Toyota Division's Scion sub-brand. Bolain faced a target market of finicky young trendsetters.
Bolain, Scion's national sales promotion manager, joined the automaker in early 2000. He and his sales team set a viral strategy for Scion's California-only launch in June 2003. Scion combined traditional ads with buzz marketing, event sponsorships, music tie-ins, a docu-drama starring its cars and other promotions.
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. took Scion national this year with regional rollouts. Scion's final market assault was in the nation's midsection in June. That coincided with the launch of Scion's third model, the tC coupe.
Scion has partnerships to help develop and plan events with hip-hop Urb magazine and the publication's marketing arm, Rebel Organization. Scion's guerrilla marketing has included sand sculptures at beaches, ads on people's foreheads in Manhattan and giveaways of music CDs by up-and-coming bands.