Toyota adapts multicultural model

20 November 2014

MIAMI: Toyota, the automaker, is anticipating the future growth of the multicultural audience by revolutionising how its agencies work together to reach various consumer groups.

Edward Laukes, vp/performance and guest experience at Toyota Motor Sales, USA, discussed this topic while speaking at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference.

Given that the cohorts traditionally defined as "minority" segments are set to make up the majority of the American population by around 2050, Toyota believes a "new-mainstream" strategy is the best long-term solution.

This marks a move towards total-market communications, supported with specific messaging aimed at Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American or White Non-Hispanic shoppers as necessary. (For more, including further details of this refreshed approach, read Warc's exclusive report: Toyota makes "total market" a primary marketing driver.)

For its agencies – a roster including Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, plus multicultural specialists like Conill Advertising, Burrell Communications and interTrend Communications – that has required embracing a new approach.

In formalising this idea, Toyota created the "Total Toyota" – or T2 – model, under which its shops will work together in a more integrated way throughout the marketing cycle.

"Before we created T2," Laukes said, "we had separate development paths … across each of our partners.

"This created separate creative briefs and separate media plans, along with separate production and media budgets and completely separate go-to-market plans."

"This is how we've done it for years. And, frankly, it was very successful. But it was – and is – not sustainable."

While the brand's agency teams have now achieved heightened integration from a strategic perspective, Toyota is determined that they continue to represent their distinctive cultures and perspectives.

"To be clear," Laukes said, "T2 is not a new business entity. All of our agencies retain their identity and their staffing. They work together in collaboration with all the Toyota agencies."

It has also, he continued, "enabled four creative directors from four agencies to work together to create the strongest idea."

Data sourced form Warc