Superniche: Toyota Highlander

The July 2007 relaunch of the Toyota Highlander introduced a product more targeted to the new crossover segment: affluent boomers interested in a less truck-like experience and/or moving on from a minivan. Dentsu Canada's marketing program had to recognize the lifestyle of the niche target and reach them where they live.

The July 2007 relaunch of the Toyota Highlander introduced a product more targeted to the new crossover segment: affluent boomers interested in a less truck-like experience and/or moving on from a minivan. Dentsu Canada’s marketing program had to recognize the lifestyle of the niche target and reach them where they live.

Goal

To launch the 2008 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid as a crossover SUV, and reinforce Toyota’s dominance in hybrid technology.

Target consumer

Adults 38 to 46, primarily men, successful and confident. Their children are becoming more independent, so they have more free time, and are enjoying their new lifestyle.

Insights and strategy

The Toronto Dentsu team knew it needed to infiltrate the target’s daily lives, exploit their interests and interact with them. So they targeted them through their leisure, travel and commuter activities.

The plan

The team came up with the tagline ‘It’s good to be here,’ and ran a series of 15-second spots on digital golf and resort television, airport, in-flight, gas station and office-tower elevator screens. The spots also targeted weekday commuters in Go Train and TTC screens in the GTA and weekend cinema customers. This was supported with specialty TV channel programming of interest to the suburban family man. The online campaign included placements in key content areas like golf, weather, news and business. Magazine titles such as Canadian Geographic, EnRoute, Golf Canada, Cottage Life/Mon Chalet and Canadian House & Home were also used.

Results

The Highlander and Highlander Hybrid increased sales by over 65% from 2006, while the rest of the segment increased by just 13%.

Credits

Dentsu Canada: David Cairns, director communications planning; Christine Wilson, communications manager; Min Ryuck, interactive communications manager; Thomas Flood, account coordinator; Mark Russell, Ken Jackson, Shane Walters, account management; Glen Hunt, creative catalyst; Les Soos, CD; Michael Gramlow, CD interactive; Amanda Loughran, producer

Toyota Canada: Warren Orton, marketing director; Linas Balaissis, national marketing manager; Tom Kuch, marketing manager

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Introduction

Superniche

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