Malaysian Media Awards Winners Showcase

2023 | |

Defying Industry Expectations Within 48 Hours

Advertiser: UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd
Brand: Toyota Vios
Credits: -

Objective & Challenge
The 2023 all-new VIOS holds immense significance for UMW Toyota, representing one of the most crucial models in our lineup. Within the highly competitive b-segment category, Honda City has maintained a dominant position, primarily attributed to its stylish and perceived “premium” image. While the VIOS has consistently enjoyed a reputation for reliability and trustworthiness, it has struggled to generate the same level of excitement and positive sentiments as its rival, the Honda City. In response to this challenge, our objective was to enhance the market sentiment surrounding the all-new VIOS. With the official launch imminent, our aim was to shift the spotlight entirely onto this upcoming model, diverting attention away from our archenemy, Honda. By creating a compelling narrative and capturing the interest of our target audience, we sought to establish VIOS as a formidable contender in the market, capable of captivating hearts and minds.

Insight & Strategy
The automotive landscape in Malaysia has witnessed a phenomenon where overeager automotive portals often spoil the novelty and excitement surrounding new car model launches. These portals frequently expose upcoming models through unflattering images or rumored specifications, leading potential buyers to form premature conclusions influenced by keyboard warriors and their comments. Consequently, a traditional teaser campaign alone would no longer be as effective, given that the market is already aware of the imminent arrival of the car, courtesy of these publishers. For the all-new VIOS to achieve the desired success, Toyota must regain control over the narrative and information circulating online. To address this challenge, we have devised a strategic approach that capitalizes on the power of seeders. Through a carefully orchestrated leak, we disseminate curated photos and intentional narratives across key social media platforms, fostering curiosity and excitement among mass audiences. By making the all-new VIOS the positive talk of the town, we aim to generate substantial anticipation and ensure that the brand remains at the forefront of online conversations.

To ensure the success of our campaign, it is imperative that we approach the steps in a methodical manner, carefully engineering each phase: Step 1: Igniting the Spark with the Right KOL with a Cheeky Branded Unbranded Post A crucial ingredient for a successful viral campaign is having the right “pull factors” in place. This involves identifying the ideal Key Opinion Leader (KOL) who can ignite the initial momentum for the VIOS. By collaborating with renowned local KOL, Sean Lee, as part of our branded content, we can leverage his influence and followers to create a network effect. We designed and developed specific visuals featuring a teased VIOS with Sean Lee in a behind-the-scenes shot. The material cleverly balances being both branded and unbranded, effectively countering any unflattering images previously circulating on the internet. This teaser showcases the all-new VIOS in a different light, emphasizing its premium, stylish, and alluring qualities. Sean Lee uploaded these photos on his personal Instagram for a limited time, providing his fans, followers, and our seeders with an opportunity to capture and share the teaser post. Step 2: Building Momentum and Crafting Compelling Narratives To proactively address potential concerns about a higher price tag, we must establish a narrative and communication tone right from the start. In collaboration with individual seeders, we customized the captured teaser posts by adding their own commentary. Their task is to highlight the strengths of the VIOS and its intended premium positioning by drawing comparisons to other luxury brands. By creating disbelief in all languages, each seeder will add their own unique touch, such as captions like, “That’s a sleek sportsback, is that a new BMW?” or “What is this? Lexus or Vios?” This approach will generate intrigue and interest among audiences, setting the stage for the upcoming launch. Step 3: Creating a Network Effect through Social Community Seeding The engineered teaser posts were shared and reshared by selected micro KOLs on Instagram and XiaoHongShu, as well as seeded into top Facebook communities beyond the typical automotive circles. While the visual content remains the same, each seeder personalized the copywriting angle to create a sensation and add their own flavor, captivating their followers and generating excitement. These seeded posts took on a life of their own, growing organically and eventually being picked up and amplified by automotive publishers, further extending the reach and impact of the campaign.

Within 48 hours, our unconventional teaser campaign achieved remarkable results, reaching an audience of 4,163,379, which accounts for 23.2% of the total group followers. Comparatively, the average organic reach of a Facebook post is only 5.2% (1) of the total followers. However, our campaign exceeded expectations, achieving 4.5x the norm by effectively seeding into external communities. Additionally, through Google Search Trend (2) data, we successfully surpassed Honda City in search interest, a significant accomplishment considering the City’s historical dominance in this area. Moreover, our campaign generated a remarkable 5.3-point increase in positive buzz for the all-new VIOS compared to Honda, marking the highest difference observed in the past year (3). This positive sentiment lasted for three weeks, building anticipation until the official launch. The success of our seeding campaign also caught the attention of top automotive portals, resulting in free coverage for the all-new VIOS and an outstanding media ROI of 7.8x. In total, the campaign generated 51 additional postings and articles from esteemed automotive portals and media news sites, contributing to an extra 30% earned reach. Prominent platforms such as Carlist, Autobuzz, Paul Tan, Gags Malaysia, Oh Media, and many others joined in generating excitement within the category. Source: 1. Hootsuite: 2. Google Search Trends 3. YouGov Buzz Metrics 1st Jan – 1st April 2023 4. VIOS Seeders Post Campaign Report These impressive outcomes have set the stage brilliantly for the highly anticipated debut of the all-new VIOS, paving the way for its successful launch.