The car is an excellent place to sing your heart out, second only to your shower. Whether you have the voice of an angel or you sound like a shrill dying cat, your car can be just the spot to belt out your favorite tunes. In fact, Toyota Motor Europe wanted to harvest that energy and use it to sell their vehicles.
A recent stunt orchestrated by Saatchi & Saatchi in Prague transformed unsuspecting Yaris customers into superstars. Calling it “The Musical City,” a GPS in Toyota’s Yaris Hybrid dashboard was hooked up to the stereo, changing the song when the driver changed streets. Instead of Main Street and Riverfront Avenue, drivers in Prague had to choose between streets such as “Born To Be Wild” and “I Like To Move It,” which would then dictate what song came on the stereo. Drivers sang and shouted the words, sometimes adding an impromptu dance move as well. Each had a smile on their face and seemed happy enough, but the real question is whether they associated their happiness with Toyota.
While these customers likely weren’t known for their singing ability, Toyota was hoping the amusing experience would be enough to show them the Yaris Hybrid can return the fun to long car rides and errand lists. The rationale? As long as you pick a jam-worthy playlist (and drive a Yaris Hybrid of course), you’re good to go. Your singing would reflect satisfaction with the hybrid-ness of the car, and vice versa.
The problem is, not everyone associates karaoke with “fun-loving.” The goal of the ad was to use a social experiment of sorts to convey that Toyota drivers were so happy they felt the need to burst into song. Although the ad makes for enjoyable watching, I don’t think it will have the kind of brand impact that Toyota desires. The premise was that consumers would link the happiness of song to the joy of new technology. But sometimes, singing is just singing.