The changes at Toyota go beyond just messaging. At headquarters, Toyoda has been shaking up management to elevate key experts and decision makers and pushing the company to execute on future-focused projects to keep up with competitors that are already testing self-driving taxis, advanced electric motors and transportation models beyond car ownership. The company has cast the efforts as a response to "changes of unprecedented speed and scale."
"A crucial battle has begun," Toyoda said last month, "not one about winning or losing, but one about surviving or dying."
The global marketing initiative, dubbed "Start Your Impossible," was launched last month in 24 countries as part of Toyota's eight-year sponsorship of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It encompasses next year's Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the 2020 summer games in Tokyo, which will be a showcase for Toyota products and homegrown Japanese technology. The slogan urges its global audience to start moving toward a personal goal that may seem unreachable.
The campaign consists of the Web page mobilityforall.com; TV commercials featuring "two types of heroes: people and products;" social media including long-form videos of people meeting a personal challenge; and print, out-of-home and social media ads focused on athletes or Toyota mobility products.
"Fifty percent of the campaign is around folks that have overcome a challenge with mobility, whether they be Olympic athletes or others, and the other 50 percent of the campaign is around devices that takes us beyond cars and trucks, into overcoming any type of challenge of movement," said Ed Laukes, marketing chief for Toyota North America.
Hollis and Laukes are leading campaign development with input from global marketing teams and agencies Saatchi & Saatchi in the U.S. and Dentsu in Japan.