Today’s marketers and event strategists are regularly challenged to reimagine tangible, offline experiences that inspire online dialogue and engage readers. No pressure, right? An early adopter of the “experiential” press event, Toyota engaged Jackson Spalding to elevate the traditional vehicle launch.
Conceptually, our most difficult challenge was combining three very different redesigned models while creating one cohesive event look and feel. The Sienna, Camry and Yaris don’t exactly appeal to the same consumer, so potential themes weren’t immediately obvious.
We invited non-Toyota team members to help us brainstorm unique themes and activities that would meld the Toyota Sienna, Camry and Yaris and create messaging that would appeal to three unique buyers.
Together, we tried to define Toyota loyalists and discovered a common thread: Owners are not married to the same model for a lifetime. They typically “graduate” from entry-level models to family vehicles and then eventually to luxury models. There’s a Toyota model for any age group, lifestyle or price point. From this discussion, the “Toyota Family Reunion” theme was born. We’d come together to celebrate three distinct models that share common Toyota attributes. It was our a-ha moment.
A week before we invited media, the event was fully planned and the resort was booked in Amelia Island, but an unforeseen delay in the production schedule meant we had to shift the event back three weeks. Our original venue was not available for the new timeframe (neither was any resort in Amelia Island), so we had to shift gears and find a new venue with days left to inform the media. The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Jacksonville ended up being the perfect place to host our group. It’s like it was meant to be.
Going The Extra Mile
A first for JS, we hired Pizzazz Scenic, a local attraction fabricator, to build a custom moss and brick wall, which served as the set for our product presentation. We provided them with a rough sketch of a live oak, an ode to the Toyota family tree, and inset flat screen televisions. The room was filled with comfy outdoor seating, custom pillows and lanterns to complete the vision.
Ideas for branding, decor, activities and swag flowed easily after that. We treated our media guests like family and hosted a larger-than-average family reunion complete with custom Toyota grill tools and sailcloth coolers, checkered tablecloths and bocce ball on the beach. Family recreation inspired all the details including golf and croquet centerpieces, giant balloon bouquets and triangle peg games at meals. We even designed a candlelit celebratory family dinner under burlap banners to bid everyone a fond farewell.
traditional media impressions
social media impressions
growth in media impressions from similar events
Meet the JS team that worked tirelessly alongside our amazing clients to make the Toyota Family Reunion such a huge success.