Toyota Targets More Than 80 Twitter Ads Based on Emoji Use

'Sensations' Campaign Aims to Raise the Emotional Appeal of the Practical Camry

Published On
Sep 01, 2017

Editor's Pick

Toyota takes Twitter emoji ad targeting to the next level with 83 unique videos designed to match a person's online mood. The effort, by Saatchi & Saatchi L.A., is part of a broader campaign for the 2018 Camry called "Sensations" that seeks to raise the emotional appeal of the midsize sedan, which is often viewed in a more practical, economical light.

Twitter introduced emoji targeting last year, allowing advertisers to steer ads to people that have recently tweeted emojis or engaged with other emoji-laden tweets to determine a person's interests and mood. Toyota's campaign shows a huge array of videos featuring Camry drivers with emojis as heads. For instance, a person who recently tweeted a smiley face icon could be targeted with a promoted tweet featuring this video. If a person's emoji usage indicates he or she is in a relaxed mood, this one would likely be sent.

The emoji targeting is paired with Twitter technology that allows brands to also target people based on interests and behaviors exhibited via their Twitter usage. Toyota's targeting does not specifically go after people in the market to buy cars because the campaign is meant to raise awareness, not necessarily close the deal. The videos feature 13 core storylines but the total number balloons to 83 because specific vehicle features are also layered in. For instance, one version of a video showing the glasses-wearing emoji head called "Geeking Out" plugs "Wi-Fi Connect powered by Verizon."

"With so much noise on digital platforms we wanted to create a campaign that was not only targeted but that connected to the user," says Chris Pierantozzi, executive creative director of digital for Saatchi & Saatchi L.A.

The campaign also includes more traditional elements, like TV ads. The spots pair music with music-like sounds coming from the Camry, such as an engine revving.