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DMA: Data and Marketing Association
Consumer Help
automotive

Toyota 4Runner Wilderness Therapy

Agency: RAPP Los Angeles    •    Client: Toyota    •    Category: Automotive    •    Award: Bronze Award

We needed to speak to a broad audience of existing Toyota 4Runner owners, hand-raisers who had expressed interest in the vehicle, and the adventurous at heart who hold a deep affinity and respect for the wild, as well as an itch to explore it. Toyota needed to reach an annual sales goal of 110K and increase market share to 5.3%.

Campaign Objective

We positioned 4Runner as the one true off-roading vehicle that enables them to explore and connect with nature. This was a distinctly different strategy to competitor SUV brands that leveraged an aggressive tone with messaging about conquering nature.

Target Audience
We sent out emails and direct mail inviting hand-raisers and owners to slow down and shut out the cacophony and chaos of the world with the help of Wilderness Therapy from 4Runner. Adventurers were invited to participate in a series of online encounters of the natural kind–far away from their hectic lives.

The Execution

We were tasked with developing an experiential campaign to support Toyota 4Runner during the second half of 2016. But with no changes to 4Runner and a competitive SUV market full of significant model refreshes across competitor brands, our challenge was to reinforce the 4Runner’s unrivaled position as the last true off-roading mid-sized SUV. Toyota needed to reach an annual sales goal of 110K and increase market share to 5.3%. We discovered a crucial insight: for these intrepid Toyota 4Runner owners and hand-raisers, the wild is more than a place; it’s an untamable spirit that runs through them. So we positioned 4Runner as the one true off-roading vehicle that enables them to explore and connect WITH nature. This was a distinctly different strategy to competitor SUV brands that leveraged an aggressive tone with
messaging about conquering nature.

The Stats

We sent out emails and direct mail inviting hand-raisers and owners to slow down and shut out the cacophony and chaos of the world with the help of Wilderness Therapy from 4Runner. Adventurers were invited to participate in a series of online encounters of the natural kind–far away from their hectic lives. To adjust our mindset, we even went camping for two weeks to commune with nature. We took our time documenting the process using super hi-res photography to capture a series of 360-degree wilderness encounters. Each one let users explore at their own pace. Clickable hot spots gave serenity seekers the ability to explore the terrain and uncover a series of Toyota 4Runner nuggets. And the mailer included collectible Wilderness Therapy patches. We also implemented a social media campaign to drive to the experience. In addition, we featured product from Bass Pro Shops (BPS) in the creative and sent out co-branded emails to the BPS customer base inviting them to the online experience. In this way, we were able to expand our reach by 3.5 million at little to no incremental cost and drive additional traffic to the site.

The Results

Toyota 4Runner exceeded sales and share objectives in 2016 with 111,952 total sales and a 5.4% segment share. Sales were up 15.7% year-over-year, outpacing the overall Midsize SUV segment’s growth of 3.6%. Furthermore, Wilderness Therapy delivered pure engagement with users spending an average of 2 minutes and 18 seconds per session. That’s 13% higher than industry benchmarks. And it drove purchases with nearly one third of all sessions clicking the build and price button. At 30 days out from launch, users who interacted with Wilderness Therapy were 260% more likely to purchase, proving that when you give people a break from the anarchy of modern life, they’ll take the wheel, bliss out and slow down.

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