Toyota, Seventeen and Roxy marketer Quiksilver are targeting extreme-sports-minded young women with the effort. The promotion includes a sweepstakes to win one of five Echo cars customized, inside and out, to reflect Roxy's California surfing-inspired fashion look.
Also backing the promotion is a multipage advertorial in Seventeen and events the magazine is staging where the car can be shown off to 18-to-25-year-old women.
Toyota VP-Marketing Steve Sturm explained the strategy of using Seventeen to target women who are older that the magazine's title by saying: "Seventeen has evolved into a very event-oriented, influential brand on its own, reaching women who are older and younger than 17, and it makes a statement about lifestyle that fits with Echo as the car for active young women just getting started in college and jobs."
Seventeen is no stranger to such promotional tie-ins with advertisers, but Mr. Sturm said this marks the first time Toyota has allowed one of its car models to be integrated with another consumer brand. He added the promotion underscores Toyota's push to give Echo an edgy image and reach first-time car owners through non-traditional channels.
OUTSIDE `TYPICAL' CHANNELS
"Echo is our entry-level car, and we sought out Seventeen as a media partner to help us take this car into new venues, outside of typical automotive marketing channels," he said.
Toyota agency Saatchi & Saatchi, Torrance, Calif., played a key role in devising the promotion with Seventeen; the magazine, in turn, brought in Roxy.
The Roxy Echo promotion will be touted this winter and spring at certain Seventeen-sponsored fashion events, where the special edition car will be on display. The sweepstakes begins in May, when an advertorial appears in Seventeen.
The promotion is heavily Inter-net-oriented; Seventeen's advertorial directs readers to enter the sweepstakes by attending the magazine's events or by visiting its seventeen. com site or Toyota's youth-oriented isthistoyota.com. Cross-promotion also is planned through the Roxy parent company's quiksilver.com.
The special edition Echo features Roxy-inspired trim and striping; inside, the seat covers, floor mats and trunk liner are made from Neoprene and other materials used in surfwear and wetsuits. If the Roxy Echo is well-received, Mr. Sturm said, Toyota may consider making the car available to more consumers.