In the multi-channel, multi-platform age, running marketing campaigns is a lot different than it used to be. There are more options, and a lot more to think about. The same is true when it comes to giving away a car.
That's what Toyota is doing as part of its Camry Effect, which the company describes as "a social media initiative developed to unite the nearly seven million Camry owners in this country through an interactive, online experience."
How to promote the company's newest Camry Effect commercial and give consumers a chance to win a new Camry? Toyota turned to mobile music app Shazam, which helps music lovers discover new music and identify a tune using their mobile device. According to Shazam, some 165m people use its app.
Toyota's campaign "allows for daily sweepstakes entry by one of two methods: by viewing the spot online and using Shazam with the ad when prompted or by filling out an entry form online."
The car manufacturer calls this the "most ambitious social media campaigns we've ever implemented", and says it turned to Shazam to boost awareness. Given the prevalence of mobile devices and popularity of mobile apps, app-as-a-marketing-channel is a trend we can expect to see more of.
But brands do need to be careful. Awareness is important, but so is coherence. Toyota's latest campaign is interesting, but it's also kind of confusing. In short, the connection between Toyota's message and the use of the Shazam app is not immediately apparent, raising the question: is Toyota's use of a mobile app appropriate, or is it throwing a mobile app into the mix just so it can say that it has created a "a fully integrated experience across multiple platforms"?
Time will tell, and it will be interesting to see if the winner of this promotion enters through the mobile app or through the entry form. In the meantime, brands shouldn't forget that the addition of more channels doesn't necessarily strengthen their message.