2014 Toyota Corolla Test-Drives Include Spin on Smartphone


  • 2014 Toyota Corolla Picture

    2014 Toyota Corolla Picture

    Toyota has kicked off a new marketing campaign for the 2014 Toyota Corolla that targets Millennials and Baby Boomers. | September 05, 2013

2 Photos

Just the Facts:
  • The new marketing campaign for the 2014 Toyota Corolla includes a virtual driving experience that highlights features of the car through a simulated test-drive on a smartphone.
  • Toyota is calling the unusual approach the "Corolla Touch Drive."
  • An iAd-based racing game will reward players for exploring the features of the redesigned Corolla with a free music download.

TORRANCE, California — The new marketing campaign for the 2014 Toyota Corolla includes a virtual driving experience that highlights features of the car through a simulated test-drive on a smartphone.

Toyota is calling the unusual approach the "Corolla Touch Drive."

An iAd-based racing game will reward players for exploring the features of the redesigned Corolla with a free music download.

The ambitious marketing campaign for Corolla, which Toyota said targets entry-level Millennial buyers and Baby Boomers, debuted on Thursday. The Corolla, which competes with the Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra, goes on sale this fall.

The Corolla's campaign theme is "Elevate."

"Extensive market research shows that Millennials are looking to take their career to the next level and are looking to buy their first 'real' car to get them there," said Toyota in a statement.

Toyota said the primary broadcast spot of the campaign "Style Never Goes Out of Style," focuses heavily on pop culture, mainly music and dance.

The campaign has a major social component. Custom six-second Vine videos and 15-second Instagram videos will showcase tutorials in dance styles through the decades, including the "Elevated" dance moves featured in the Corolla broadcast commercials. Toyota wants viewers to use the hashtag #CorollaStyle to post user-generated content showcasing "their 'elevated' style."

Toyota — and other automakers — face an uphill battle in getting entry-level buyers into their cars. Millennials are driving less and getting their cars and licenses at a later age than their parents.

Michael Sivak, a research professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, has found a shift in the peak age of vehicle buyers — from 35-44 in 2007 to 55-64 in 2011.

"The marketing campaign aims to reach the Millennial generation while still appealing to the Baby Boomer audience that has made the model so popular through the years," Toyota said.

Edmunds says: Regardless of who ends up buying the 2014 Corolla, expect to see those virtual test-drives on smartphones become a major trend.

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