Toyota thinks outside the box

There is a computer game out now that requires you click on a veiled object to move to the next level. That object turns out to be a Toyota Yaris. This is all a part of Toyota’s effort to reach the youth market. I learned this from a NPR story this morning. There are also a string of games out now that have billboards inserted at certain locations in the game. Nothing exciting about that except when you play online, these billboards check your IP address and where possible other sources and then load billboard ads that are more targeted. Imagine, it’s 8pm and you’re locked in battle with some alien on your computer. OK, I can’t quite imagine as I’m not a gamer but if I was then it would make sense that an ad on the building I’m approaching which houses the alien I’m trying to kill would be for the local pizza place. I mention all this for the simple reason that as traditional advertising dies along with traditional media, the creative minds being applied to interactive ads are coming up with some great thinking. Is the PR industry applying similar thought? I’ve seen glimpses of it but I worry that at a time when PR could be taking a bigger slice of the marketing pie we are not being creative enough.

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30 Comments on “Toyota thinks outside the box”

  1. Deborah Eastman says:

    Tim,

    Did you see Edelman’s posting on the impact of social media on PR and advertising? http://www.edelman.com/speak_up/blog/archives/2006/06/sir_martin_tear.html

    As leaders in the PR industry, it’s critical that you move this agenda forward. I’m shocked at how few PR professionals in Global2000 companies are seeing this trend as an opportunity to increase their value to the marketing mix. I don’t see much creativity yet from the PR community, yet the advertising professionals are experimenting with a variety of ways to leverage social media and connectity to push their advertising message.

    Perhaps it’s because they have all the budget?

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  4. Brian Sibley says:

    Tim–

    Greetings from a former employee! I have to be honest, as I’m now heading up the PR department of a full-service marketing firm, I would have to contend with your assertion that traditional advertising is dying. Rather than asserting that traditional advertising is dying, I would suggest that the definition of what consitutes “traditional” is changing.

    Since I moved into this new position, I’ve taken on a new appreciation for advertising and what it can accomplish, while remaining continually conscious of my PR training that says “PR is better than advertising. People are Skeptical Of Advertising.”

    Indeed, at Text 100 and Edelman, my former agencies, we frequently made earnest attempts to sell AGAINST advertising, almost as if it competed with what we set out to accomplish in PR.

    I’m now firmly understanding of the truth that advertising and PR, in order for either to be maximally effective, must be truly integrated.

    To wit: in a recent client crisis, we effectively used media relations and advertising in conjunction to ensure our message was conveyed. Without advertising, I’m skeptical that we would have achieved the desired result. The crisis was diffused, our client’s reputation has been preserved, and the role advertising played in achieving that goal was undeniable.

    Creativity lies in addressing the client’s needs, and applying the appropriate solution.

    Thanks for the opportunity the comment on your blog.

    All the best,

    Brian Sibley
    http://changeagent.wordpress.com

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