The purpose of this report is to demonstrate and critically analyse how my company “PR 4 U” has applied an innovative approach to a world’s well known Toyota Company, particularly Supra 2014 sport model, by launching new plastic products glowing in the dark.
The campaign’s overall objective is to provide a full safety for drivers while driving cars at nights and the ability to express the uniqueness and individuality.
Public relations is all about strategic communication process which creates positive and valuable relationships between organisations and their publics. This report covers a variety of different tactics, methods and strategies which help PR initiatives to achieve a success in Toyota new campaign.
2.0 History of brand
Toyota originally came from Japanese industry and was invented by Sakichi Toyoda. In 1924, he presented Toyoda Model G Automatic Loom which patent was sold to a British Company in 1929. By the end of 1975, Toyota sold over one million vehicle and surpassed Volkswagen to become number one import brand in the United States. In August 1982, the Celica Supra model became available in the European market for the first time, and with supply to the UK limited to just 100 cars per month it benefited from an additional air of exclusiveness. The new Celica was launched in 1999 and the design had radically changed. Toyota designed the Supra model to fill the upper end of the sporty subcompact market. During its 20-year history the Supra went through four generations, plus a special 15th anniversary edition. (Source: http://www.Toyota.com)
3.0 Evaluation of current market
Toyota is trying to develop cars that meet the needs and expectations of their customers while at the same time achieving an ideal balance between consideration for the environment, safety, drivability, comfort and reliability. Toyotas are not particularly exciting or rugged but consumers regard them as sincere and competent. J.D.Power, an organisation that surveys car owners to evaluate levels of satisfaction, annually reports that Toyota is at or near the top of satisfaction ratings. This, of course, is due to the brand’s overall success and reliability. (Shimp, 2007) The Company’s automobile segment is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of car products, including sedans, minivans, sport-utility vehicles ,2BOX cars and trucks, as well as the related car parts and accessories. According to “The Guardian” newspaper’s article, Toyota Company sold 9.7m cars and trucks worldwide in 2012, and it is still growing. Toyota kept its crown as the world’s best-selling auto maker for two years in a row in 2013, beating competitors like General Motors and Volkswagen after having sold 9.9m vehicles together with group companies Daihatsu and Hino Motors. However, Toyota Motor claimed that it would stop producing engines and cars in Australia by the end of 2017 due to the decreased sales rates by nearly half in the past decade. (NY Times, 2014) In the United Kingdom, the production has made Toyota a key player in the nation’s manufacturing business. In 2013, Toyota GB sold 84,563 vehicles which is up 14, 9%. (Hubbard, 2014) Toyota is planning to sell around 10.32m vehicles globally in 2014. (The guardian, 2014)
4.0 The Campaign
4.1 The new product description
The main idea of this new campaign is to produce a wide range of different plastic accessorises glowing in the dark such as number frame plates, bolts, side frames, caps on the nipple and arch liners. To start with, a number frame plate has a very useful and unusual feature, it is glowing in the dark without electricity, bulbs or LEDs. The principle is that during the day, the material from which the frame is made, collects daylight and then send accumulated lumens as a bright glow. Phosphorus, a non-metallic chemical element, has an ability to glow in the dark and is widely used in medicine, explosives, fireworks and toothpaste. While driving a car, the frame glows even more brightly due to the energy generated by friction with the air. Even with the fully dead battery, the car will be noticeable on unlit roads at night. Basically, the colours of plates are white or translucent during the daylight but it is possible to produce any frame colour. In this case, the brightness level is lower than the classic version. It is interesting to note that the brightest glow in the dark is green colour. The arch liners glowing in the dark will decorate any vehicle making in notable especially on sport cars like Toyota Supra. Also, the new phosphorescent caps for nipples will create a beautiful green halo around the wheels when driving more than 30 mph. Nowadays, there is no need to spend much money on painting the whole wheel with the professional glowing dye for automobiles.
4.2 The SMART objectives
For objectives to be effective they should meet the criteria of being Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound which forms the acronym SMART. (Gordon, 2011) The SMART framework will help to identify what is needed to successfully implement new products for the Toyota brand and meet the deadlines on time.
By May 1, 2014, implement the new outside phosphorus-glowing car parts for the Toyota brand market and to raise awareness amongst age group of 22-35 middle and high income drivers by using clear marketing and PR structure. Also, to update the http://www.toyota.com web site stock with new accessorises and start communication with the audience in order to promote the “glowing” campaign and attract new potential customers to the Toyota market.
The measurable objective in this campaign is to reach a high volume of noticeability. This includes five days a week advertisements in famous national newspapers such as “The Telegraph”, “The Guardian” and “The Times” which have millions of readers in the UK, also, in well-known auto journals and magazines, for example “Auto express” and “Car magazine”, three days a week radio ads will help to reach the audience’s ears while driving a car and some e-blogs publications will grab the attention of people who spend much time on the internet. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have a special influence on publics and their perception of the brand. For example, in 2013, Facebook reached 1.19 billion monthly active users. (Source: The Next Web, 2013)
The overall business objective is to make the Toyota the best-selling car in the UK market with the help of a new glowing products, and to help achieve that the PR objectives are to get all the key monitoring journalists and bloggers to write a review of the Toyota sports car event show. The aim is to achieve at least 10,000 online readers and followers as well as 100,000 sales in the first 10 months.
With the £1.5 million budget and a clear strategic business plan, the new innovative approach is more than realistic to implement. The major amount of the budget is going to be spend on the development of glowing car parts and its dyeing; around 1/3 of the rest budget is for the Toyota sports car open air race show which also includes rent fee, laser and music demonstration, catering facilities, glowing products exhibition and other equipment. Other amount of money is intended for advertising in press and TV channels, event leaflets, for reporters, journalists and photographers. The entrance fee to an event will be £5 per person; the money will go for charity organisations like “Save the Children” and “The Lullaby Trust” located in London.
The product development and all the organisational and promotional goals must be completed by May 1, 2014. The event will be held on 3nd May till 5th May which is Bank Holiday in the United Kingdom. The desired success is predicted within 6 months after the event days.
4.3 Target Audience
Knowledge of audience characteristics such as beliefs, attitudes, concerns, and lifestyles is an essential part of persuasion. It helps the communicator tailor messages that are salient, answer a felt need, and provide a logical course of action. (Wilcox, 2011) The “glowing” campaign is mainly aimed at females and males drivers of age around 22-35. The intended target audience for these products are middle- and high-income people who take care of their cars and are more likely to try these new glowing accessorises. People in this age range tend to be graduated students with stable salary and people with quite high income who can afford such a “glowing” and unique privilege. Audience profiling also depends on hobbies/interests and social values. This campaign expects to see sports and travel lovers, who treat their cars as a family member or the best friend. The selection of target segments is a critical step toward effective and efficient marketing communication. (Shimp, 2007)
5.0 Tactics and Promotional tools
Printed words can be kept indefinitely and can be reread. Messages delivered in that form through newspapers, magazines, and journals are fundamental elements in public relations work. (Wilcox, 2001) The new campaign advertisements are to appear in famous local newspapers and car journals. Magazines are also noted for their long life as kept around the home, salons, shops and offices for weeks. Magazines and journals provide both mass audience and highly selective vehicles to choose from. Newspapers have the value of natural timeliness and immediacy so important to achieving consumer response. (Parente, 2006) The new campaign also requires a television advertising. Television has the strongest emotional influence of all media. A 30 sec commercial video will be broadcasted on Eurosport, BBC, and ITV channels on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays as on these days people are more likely to spend their after-work-time watching TV. The billboards ads will be placed on the roads and streets. Eye-catching impact is the goal as the duration of viewing is short. (Appendix 4) The event leaflets will include the programme name, date and venue as well as entrance fee.
- The internet and social networking
The Internet is an essential element of many people’s lives. The online media are usually used as a supplemental method of reaching a generally well-educated, relatively affluent audience interested in new ideas and fresh approaches.(Wilcox,2001) Firstly, online advertising must be on http://www.toyota.com website with the online shopping tool. Display or banner ads can also be publicised in automobiles online magazines or e-blogs. Secondly, the social networks greatly excite marketing and PR people as they are made up of defined communities of people with some shared interests. (Morris, 2012) The social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allows target audience to share photos and information with their friends and connect to the new people with the same interests or hobbies. This is the best way for Toyota to receive a direct feedback from customers about their experience or thoughts about glowing car parts. In addition, web sites can expand a relationship between a company and the customer on a one-to-one basis.
- Promotional products
Promotional products, such as T-shirts, automobile sun protectors, key tags, calendars, iPhone cases and other stuff with company’s logo can help further the Toyota brand’s image if it is used strategically. All these products should appear during the event days. The visitors and intended target audience who like and drive Toyota automobiles will definitely purchase some of these products for themselves or their friends.
Shopping online has become a reality and a very popular B2B and B2C sales. The http://www.toyota.co.uk can provide online shopping tool which includes reservation, delivery and collection at your nearest Toyota salon. The convenience in implementing such a tool is that many car buyers shop online for information before they go to a dealership. (Parente, 2006) The items stock list will make the future customer aware about availability of glowing plate frames or arch liners, prices and other description can easily be accessed and understood by any client. The payment method will be through PayPal, Credit cards and Bank cheques.
6.0 Launch Event
Event hospitality is often seen as a part of the public relations’ information dissemination process. (Baines, 2004) The Toyota Sports Car Show will take place on Good Wood Motor Circuit in London on 3rd, 4th and 5th of May, 2014. The objective of the event is to raise awareness about glowing car accessorises among the target audience and to reach a high number of publications in press and word-of-mouth communications. Apart from the car show, the event will also include laser performance from Definitive Company, catering facilities and exhibition stand where visitors can make a professional photograph with races and body-art females. The massive decorations will greet the visitors and will show the directions to parking places. The money raised for the entrance (£5 per person) will be donated to charity organisations “Save the Children” and “The Lullaby Trust” in London. Photographers and journalists of different newspapers and TV channels are invited and welcomed to the event. The press will have special VIP seats in order to take the best photographs of the car race show. Some interviewing places will be provided for them so that the light and sound will match the high standard format. Lots of hospitality tents will meet potential clients with different snacks, hot food and drinks as well as entertain them of the Toyota’s promotional products.
The third day of the event will be announced as a public day where people can still have a look at the Toyota sports cars exhibition stand and glowing accessorises, enjoy BBQ and other catering food, different businesses companies can also come along to the exhibition and have a talk about future partnership or sponsorship with Toyota, the press can take interviews of top executives, managers, media gatekeepers and other influential persons in the industry. All the participants of various Toyota associations and clubs are welcomed to demonstration their sport cars and drift on the run. The image that the event portrays will have a direct effect on how visitors see the organisation regardless of the reality.
7.0 Media Timing/Scheduling
Timing is all about scheduling; decisions need to be made concerning when the ads appear to the publics, and the way these ads are scheduled over time. Timing is an important element of media strategy because when someone is exposed can affect that person’s receptiveness to the advertising message. (Parente, 2006) The Appendix 9 shows the frequency and time of using different media tools in order to achieve a high noticeability and raise awareness among target audiences. It is always important to integrate the marketing communication recommendations with the advertising plan so that the target audience gets a consistent message and “feel” from every contact it has with promotional activities. (Parente, 2006)
In conclusion, the new campaign for Toyota will definitely grab the attention of customers by its uniqueness and safety which phosphorus-glowing accessorises provide. Different tactics and promotional tools like advertising, social network and internet-commerce, PR, the event launch and word of mouth communication create a clear message for this campaign in order to meet all the SMART objectives.
My Company “PR 4 U” suggests this new campaign with a clear PR strategic plan for Toyota Company. Implementation of a public relations plan uses many different tactics applied in creative ways.
“PR is extremely important, and being able to use it in the right way means everything. You have to market your success.” – Lee Haney, bodybuilder and former Mr Olympia.
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