Toyota needed to put out a wide-reaching message to raise awareness about its hybrid vehicles in Turkey, a market where the concept is new and not widely adopted.
To do so, it turned to the broadest reach medium there is: out of home (OOH). But Toyota wanted to introduce some targeting to reach its intended audience and maximize media spend.
Through its agency, Universal McCann, Toyota Turkey teamed up with local digital OOH supply-side platform Awarion and European programmatic platform Platform161 to make its campaign messaging dynamic, targeted and relevant to the consumer. Awarion works with 300-plus digital out of home screens in Turkey to make billboard inventory targetable and dynamic, and partners with Platform161’s demand-side platform to execute those buys.
“Programmatic helped us be different and attract the attention of customers,” said Murat Guney, marketing communications manager at Toyota in Turkey.
The campaign, which ran on roadside digital billboards in Istanbul, used real-time data feeds around traffic patterns, fuel consumption, noise levels and currency exchange rates to trigger dynamic creative. The data allowed Toyota to display relevant creative messages while highlighting the unique features of the hybrid engine.
When there’s a traffic jam, for example, Toyota displays a traffic map while highlighting the hybrid motor’s low fuel consumption capabilities. Or when there’s a ton of noise pollution, Toyota can display the current street noise level while talking about the hybrid engine’s low noise advantage, said Taylan Koru, head of digital at UM Worldwide.
“Hybrid engines come with serious advantages,” he said, “but no other brand in Turkey makes hybrid motors. Toyota had to make a serious effort to explain the technology because there are misperceptions.”
In September, when the Turkish Lira was particularly volatile and citizens actively discussed currency exchange rates, Toyota’s creative displayed the current exchange rates while highlighting the economic advantages of the hybrid car.
“The main topic at the moment that everyone talks about is rates,” Guney said. “With this technology, we were able to find a link with the current situation, what people [were] talking about and our message. If you’re able to do it with the right data, it’s even more attractive.”
While it’s possible to do audience targeting on digital billboards through both Platform161 and Awarion using location data, Toyota did not opt to do so for this campaign. Since it wanted to reach all drivers, limiting the campaign to roadside billboards as opposed to those in malls would cover most of that audience, said Alp Ayhan, founder and CEO of Awarion. The campaign used some audience data to send push notifications to drivers highly likely to be across the street from a billboard running Toyota creative.
“We wanted to be there in that particular moment when drivers were a bit overwhelmed by the traffic,” he said. “And we wanted to target existing drivers, so running roadside was the perfect thing.”
In November, after the campaign ran, Toyota saw a 44% year over year increase in hybrid motor sales in Turkey, making it the highest selling car in the country according to the Turkish Automotive Distributers Association. Overall, Toyota bought 3,290 spots across five high-impact screens.
Because of the campaign’s success, Toyota Turkey will allocate 25% of its budget to programmatic out of home campaigns moving forward.
“It’s the most effective usage of outdoor,” Guney said. “From now on, we always prefer outdoor advertisements to be programmatic.”
Programmatic out of home is also growing in the US, where media owners including Clear Channel Outdoor, Outfront and Lamar are enabling their digital inventory for targeting. According to a recent ad spend forecast by Magna, digital out of home buys will drive growth for the entire billboard medium at 4.6% to $34 billion.
“With the adoption of HTML5 capability by media owners and their SSPs, it is possible,” Ayhan said. “I think everyone in the industry is now aware of that.”