Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Toyota: They're great at social media

Last month, Toyota launched a terrible crowd-sourced band idea that, mercifully, seems to have gone nowhere. I did a thing about it here, mainly because when I said something about Toyota recalls, the company responded by saying how they did all their recalls because they valued safety and how it was totally voluntary.

To which my response was 'what about that time when a guy ended up in prison because you hadn't recalled cars with a serious fault; you might remember having to pay a fine of over a billion dollars; what about that?'

And that was that.

Except, because it's automatic, that post also appeared on No Rock & Roll Fun's Google+ feed. (Yes, Google+ is still a thing.)

I was a bit surprised to discover that Toyota's US arm has added a comment to the post:

Hi, thanks for that link! We never heard about that campaign and hope to make more noise worldwide with #feelingthestreet! 
First of all, great news for Toyota UK's social marketing gurus that their expensive 'forming a band' campaign not only failed to make any impact amongst real people, but even the people who do the social media for the company in America apparently had no idea it happened.

More importantly, this was a post that really was about how the company had known their was an accelerator fault and not withdrawn the cars resulting in accidents and even death. Which they're thanking me for, almost as if they hadn't bothered to even click through to read the full story or something.

But even without clicking through to read the piece, the extract shown on Google+ had the words "god this sounds terrible" in it. So even if you didn't make it to the bit where - admittedly confusingly on a music blog - there's something about how Toyota let people have accidents rather than fix their cars, you can still see that I'm basically saying crowdsourcing bands is a terrible, terrible idea for a marketing campaign.

Which Toyota are thanking me for.

One further point: Given your accelerator problem saw some people being catapulted from their cars onto the pavement, you might want to rethink the "feeling the street" hashtag.