Toyota’s New Chariot of the Soul

March 25th, 2008

If you had to describe your car – the driving experience, its look and feel, the emotions it evokes – in just one phrase, what would it be?

For Toyota’s Scion, the buzz phrase is surprising – if not outlandish: “21st-century chariot of the soul.” 

In a crowded industry, Toyota’s Scion is banking on this departure from the norm to engage its young, hip target audience. Its new campaign, Scion Speak, taps into this quirkiness to encourage personalized ownership and inspire a cult-like following among Scion owners.

The crux of the new campaign is a design website,, that lets Scion owners design their own personal coat of arms. The site offers hundreds of graffiti-inspired symbols from which to develop a personalized crest. Drivers can then have the designs painted onto their cars or made into a window decal for a fee).

To be clear, the concept of “personalizing” a car isn’t new (think: VW Beetle flower vase), nor is the idea of a “car culture” (think: Mini mania). But Scion does a great job of merging these two concepts not just as a thinly veiled advertising/PR tactic, but as a way of ramping up excitement and passion for the Scion brand among current owners.

Now if I could just get over the way the Scion looks…



Posted Under: Advertising, Branding
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