LOS ANGELES -- Toyota Division is expanding its "Let's Go Places" advertising theme with experiential marketing events at family-friendly music, art and food festivals across America this summer.
The nationwide tour includes events and festivals -- such as Artscape, Gourmet on Gore, Eat Real SF and the Life is Good and Life is Beautiful festivals -- that involve creativity, healthy living and philanthropic causes.
Although mostly tied to the launch of the redesigned 2014 Corolla, the promotion includes other Toyota models, such as the customized SpongeBob SquarePants Toyota Highlander. The SpongeBob Highlander also will be used in Toyota's separate "Happy Driving" tour, which is cross-promoted with children's TV network Nickelodeon.
The early part of the Corolla promotion may be more about drumming up interest -- the car doesn't begin wholesaling at dealerships until September. The Corolla is a close second to Camry in volume for Toyota car sales. Last year, Toyota sold 290,947 Corollas, up 21 percent from 2011, and was No. 5 among the top-selling U.S. cars. Corolla sales through June were up 5 percent from the year-ago period despite the car being long in the tooth.
At the festivals, people who visit the Toyota booth will receive a product tutorial that also highlights Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive and Entune telematics system. For fun, the booths will include interactive events such as the Corolla Custom Letterpress activity, a SpongeBob SquarePants airbrush tattoo station and a challenge to see how much stuff people can cram into a Toyota vehicle for a chance to win prizes.
"We launched 'Let's Go Places' to connect with customers in new ways that are personally relevant to them, which is exactly why we are taking the concept on the road," Steve Appelbaum, Toyota national manager of engagement marketing, said in a release. "We want drivers to be able to interact with some of our most exciting vehicles in the most personalized and intimate way possible, in settings that are near and dear to their hearts."
The "Let's Go Places" tour is produced by Filter Creative Group in Los Angeles.