LOS ANGELES: Toyota, the automaker, has successfully demonstrated how to connect with NASCAR racing fans by using Twitter as an engagement driver.

Keith Dahl, General Manager/Motorsports and Asset Management for Toyota Motor Sales USA, discussed this subject at the 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies) Transformation 2017 conference.

The car manufacturer, he explained, leveraged a nuanced Twitter strategy to ensure its involvement in the Daytona 500 generated a major conversation during an event that is NASCAR's equivalent of the Super Bowl.

"Much like 'Super Sunday', 'Daytona Day' is a chance for fans to engage with each other across the country," he said. (For more details, read WARC's exclusive report: Toyota uses Twitter to drive Daytona success.)

"Whether you're watching the race on your own, at a party [or] hosting a party, it's just tailor-made for connecting through social media ... Since then, our research has shown that we accomplished what we set out to do."

The specific goal for Toyota was to promote its latest Camry midsize sedan. The racing version of this vehicle featured in the Daytona 500, and the brand ran creative for the consumer variant of the car during the race broadcast, too.

Alongside an extensive on-site presence at the circuit, Toyota utilised Twitter tactics ranging from short videos of its NASCAR drivers to letting consumers order free pizza simply by posting tweets containing branded emojis and keywords.

Given that the Academy Awards were being held that evening, Toyota also tapped into paid-for Twitter ad products to ensure it had a visible place on the platform.

"Breaking through was really important to us," said Chris Nicholls, Director/Media Communications at Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, the agency for the program.

"It was an opportunity, and a challenge, because of the Oscars this year. We wanted to make sure we had the first visible placement in Timelines, so we secured First View. We also secured a Promoted Trend to drive awareness of #toyotanation."

Data sourced from WARC