Social media’s a topic that, let’s be honest, many still consider to be a bit on the silly side. Twitter, Facebook and such forth are still seen as distractions when it comes to internet marketing and chances are, most businesses that have a presence on these platforms probably aren’t quite sure why they’re there. In many industries, social media is considered trivial; the poor relation or at least the baby brother with potential compared to ‘proper’ internet marketing work like SEO and PPC. Interestingly, Toyota seem to have taken this viewpoint on board for their new social media campaign for their new Prius model.
Rather than trying to stir discussion and spread the word about the new Prius by talking about how much more fuel efficient it is compared to other vehicles in its price range or how much more spacious it is, Toyota’s digital marketing team opted to stoke the fires of a seemingly trivial debate about how the name should be pluralised. Their agency helped move this along by releasing an advert featuring a child’s song with the lyrics “There’s octopus to octopi, spiky cactus to cacti then how come when we multiply, platypus doesn’t become platypi?”, a clever ad which clearly fits the theme of the campaign.
As trivial as this may sound, think of how many advertising campaigns have worked on precisely that. It’s tough to engage a potential customer-base through social media and now that everyone is doing it, a product or company need to do something to help them stand out from the crowd. Moonpig.com have effectively captured the UK’s personalised card market by using an annoying yet catchy jingle. The same with Go Compare. Although it may seem that the triviality of the Prius’ name is an unworthy topic, trying to make a successful social media campaign out of boot space or fuel efficiency is a tough sell (unless you’re going to use said fuel to make a huge fire – I’ll have to Evernote that idea, never know when it could be handy), whereas a topic like this is a great way to engage potential customers.
So is social media really all about triviality? I really don’t think so. All told, I think ideas like this have always been used in advertising to make a product stand out from the crowd and keep the idea in people’s heads and just maybe a campaign like this is a sign that social media and the internet marketing industry as a whole are ready to stop taking the whole thing so seriously and focus on what really matters – the best way to make a return on investment. Perhaps the increasing number of campaigns like this are actually a sign that social media is growing up. I’m still not sure on the best way to pluralise ‘Prius’ though.
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment.