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Toyota’s experiential play for millennials

Automaker launching 'interactive brand gallery' to showcase urban cars

Toyota Canada is aiming to put urban millennials in the driver’s seat with a new experiential initiative.

On March 5, the automaker is opening “Towards Tomorrow by Toyota,” an interactive brand gallery at the former Target retail space at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, Ont.

The space, which will be open until May 31, will showcase Toyota’s city-focused vehicles, including the iM, RAV4 Hybrid and Prius. Visitors can check out the cars and take part in activities like virtual reality simulators, digital painting and interactive photo booths. A test-driving component begins in mid-April, which will drive leads to the dealerships.

“A greater number of our purchasers are millennials, and they are tech-savvy and want a different experience,” said Cyril Dimitris, vice-president of sales at Toyota Canada. “They’re looking for more of a tailored approach in the purchase process. That forced us to look at diversifying our ways, our methodology and how we drive traffic to dealerships.”

Toyota is also trying to bridge the online and offline experience, said Dimitris. “What our consumers are telling us is they’re looking for a low-pressure environment where they can still experience the vehicle. Even though online is becoming more and more part of the purchase experience, they still want to touch and feel the car, sit in the car, and drive the car before they go to the dealership and make a decision to purchase.”

The gallery is being promoted with in-mall advertising, digital, influencer marketing, and social media activations using #TowardsTomorrow. Desperado handled the concept build and activations, and Saatchi & Saatchi handled the marketing and communications.

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