Targeting Generation Y

In the old days, Television was the zeitgeist. Everyone watched it and there were only a few channels, so everyone pretty much watched the same thing. As such, the most effective marketing strategy was to appeal to the largest cross section of America as possible. Because of this, we got inelegant but widely appealing commercials like this, from Chevrolet.

The internet and cable TV has fragmented everything into niches. It’s ineffective to go after the whole apple pie these days. Now you have to go for the right slice. It is here that we see the marketing strategies of today. Enter the Toyota Free Yr Radio campaign. When Toyota designed the Yaris, their goal was to create a car that marketed directly to Generation Y. It had to have the DIY indie spirit and street cred that seems so pertinent to our generation’s psyche. So what did Toyota do? They launched a campaign in conjunction with Urban Outfitters (sounding hipper already, eh?) that partners with independent radio stations, providing them with funding and awareness. In addition, Toyota sponsored concerts with the radio stations that feature hip bands  such as Tokyo Police Club, Portugal the Man, Yeasayer, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.  The concerts are free of charge and on a first come, first serve basis.

Let’s break down that strategy. So Toyota sponsors radio stations marketed directly to their target demographic. The radio stations are basically obligated to mention Toyota all the time by proxy of the sponsorship. There is a built-in audience that is always listening. The audience is happy because Toyota is propping up radio stations that might otherwise go under. In addition, the radio stations generate buzz for the concerts which will surely sell out because they are free. Is there something we love more than free concerts? I don’t think so. What to know the final kicker? Toyota gave the radio stations free Yaris’s to give out to listeners during their buzz building events.

And that, my friends is Class A marketing for the new generation.

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