Toyota Counts Reasons with Hybrid Owners

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Toyota "Hybrid Synergy Drive"
Green isn't the only color that defines the environmentally-conscious owner of a Hybrid Synergy Drive vehicle from Toyota. In fact, every color under the sun can be called into service to create the personalized member profiles at a new social networking website for Toyota hybrid owners, created by Saatchi & Saatchi/L.A. and Firstborn. "The hybrid community already exists, and it's pretty big," says Firstborn executive producer Ryan Thomas. "So this site isn't about generating the community, it's more about creating an official forum for everyone to get together and share thoughts and ideas."

Every member of the tight-knit community can visually express their diverse reasons for owning a hybrid vehicle through a colorful combination of graphics and uploadable video. "It combines a lot of different elements from other networking sites—the uploading of content, getting in touch with other members—with the underlying purpose of being specifically for this unique community," says Thomas. "And in addition to images and videos, people can also link to each other through statistical information: when they bought their vehicles, the color of their cars, etc. It creates these little neighborhoods within the community."

Firstborn worked with Vital Stream (the folks behind the video uploading technology used by YouTube) to seamlessly integrate member videos into the fabric of their profiles. As for the graphics? Saatchi & Saatchi worked with a group of illustrators to create 100 different images, each corresponding to a different "reason" for owning a hybrid. "The illustrations are reflective of whatever the reason is," says Thomas. "They combine some vector artwork with some bitmap artwork and some photography assets. You get a choice of five graphics, and you can manipulate the sizes and shapes, tweak the colors and move them around to create your own little collage—all of which makes for a unique experience for each visitor."
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