That relationship leads many Hispanics to give their cars
superpersonal monikers -- whether they're the kind you'd give to a
person, like "Oliver" or "Ellie," or a word that represents their
relationship to the car, such as "El Milagroso" ("The Miraculous"),
conceived by one owner who couldn't believe how many years his
ancient Toyota has done right by him.
This tradition inspired Conill's idea to reward Toyota owners
with free custom nameplates, created in the same typeface and
material as the official Toyota marque. The campaign invites
visitors to go to masqueunauto.com, where they can input the names
and order badges, which they receive in the mail in about a
"We wanted to thank people in a genuine way, but we also wanted
it to be something absolutely fresh," said Jack Hollis, Group
VP-Toyota Marketing, via email. "We tasked our partner agency
Conill with bringing us ideas to truly connect with our guests. We
didn't want big, flashy statements or bragging about our
leadership. It was about our guests through and through."
Since the campaign's launch, Toyota's "guests" have shown their
appreciation right back. "Without getting into actual numbers, we
continue to see earned impressions outperform paid impressions,"
said Anabel Ordoñez, Conill group account director.
Fans have been thanking Toyota, posting their emblazoned cars
and sharing their car love stories on social media. In doing so,
they've also evolved the campaign -- Conill will be producing some
of those real car tales to share as part of the next phase of the
"Some stories are very simple, like 'My car looks like candy,'
but other stories are bigger," said Mr. Campopiano. "For example,
someone named their car after a niece that passed away. That says a
lot about what consumers feel toward their cars."
Other fans have also used the badges as a platform for a cause.
One group, trying to get more support for cystic fibrosis research,
has banded together by placing "Cure CF" badges on their
So far, the campaign has surpassed client expectations. "We
started with a goal of delivering 25,000 badges within a two-month
period, and found the demand so high that by month two, we had more
than 50,000 badge orders," said Mr. Hollis. "Today, we have close
to 100,000 badge orders."
Indeed, the badges have provided unique production challenges
for the agency. Toyota isn't creating the nameplates directly, so
the agency had to do a "talent search" of various suppliers to find
one that could match the nameplate style and materials to Toyota
guidelines -- right down to the type of adhesive used to attach the
badge to the cars. "The actual outcome is a really high-quality
badge," said Conill VP-Integrated Production Rodrigo Vargas.
The campaign has been supported through broadcast, digital and
interactive videos, as well as by paid and organic social media. It
was also introduced at the Toyota-sponsored Hispanic indie music
festival Supersonica in Los Angeles in October. Toyota and Conill
just introduced a new phase of the effort, asking customers to
imagine what a commercial featuring their beloved ride would look
like. Toyota will pick the best idea to produce for a real
broadcast ad. "There is a feeling that this badge makes your Toyota
unique," said Mr. Campopiano. "So since your car is unique, how
would you imagine a spot starring your car?"
The "Más Que un Auto" idea is so endearing, you can
easily imagine crossover to the general market. "We have seen
interest and inquiries from people throughout the U.S. and abroad,"
said Mr. Hollis. "We continue to evaluate the program and will
explore all of our options and opportunities, so stay tuned."
The could mean good news for one Canadian fan, who tweeted, "I'm
in Canada. Can someone out of the kindness of their own heart get
one for me? Please?" To which another fan replied, "Take back
Justin Bieber and we'll consider it."