Kicks Off the Most Important Marketing Campaign in its History for the
PickupTruck.com attended Toyota's press conference to kick off the most important and biggest marketing campaign in the company's 50-year history - the launch of the all new 2007 Tundra full size pickup.
Whisper numbers suggest the campaign is costing Toyota in the neighborhood of $100 million, which would run about $500 per truck if the Tundra can reach its sales goal of 200,000 units this model year.
Jim Farley, vice president of marketing for Toyota in the U.S., was up front with the media about how much is riding on this investment.
"This is a really big moment for (Toyota). It's the culmination of fourteen years to get us here to this moment to tell you about this launch. In 1,200 dealers over 600 of them have brand new facilities just for this truck. And for us at Toyota this is really an inflection point for our company, to shift from an import, golfing company to a fresh water fishing, NASCAR company."
And Farley also warned current full size truck manufacturers to get ready for a fight. "We are a challenger. We have a chip on our shoulder, and we're going to come after this business."
Toyota knows the only way to meets its sales goals is to prove to buyers that the Tundra's specs are more than just marketing chatter but cold hard, real world fact. To gain this opportunity Toyota is going to hold over 400 "Prove It" test drive events at BASS Pro shops, state fairs, and agricultural shows where shoppers can get behind the wheel of the Tundra for a hands on demonstrations of its capabilities.
Also key to the launch will be television ads broadcast at local and national levels, with an entire set aimed at Hispanic consumers in Spanish. All of these ads will feature the tagline, ""The truck that's changing it all."
In an unconventional turn, Toyota actually went out an enlisted the support of "True Truckers" to become the "inspiration and filter for everything (Toyota has done) with this launch, according to Kim McCullough, corporate manager for marketing communications for Toyota in the U.S..
"We let them know that we listened to them in how the truck was developed. You'll see that in our marketing tone and language - that this is the real deal. This is a truck that has all the capabilities that they want and more", said McCullough.
McCullough also added that , "We went out side of our core advertising partners to find people in the heartland who lived and breathed the true trucker lifestyle. They were the ones who helped guide the print efforts, the outdoor efforts, and some brand guidelines that we put together to make sure that the look, the feel, of what we said and how we said it was appropriate for this audience."
The first national advertising will hit the air during Super Bowl XLI, when two 30-second spots appear.
On Monday, February 4 the truck will officially go on sale across the country. At least four models will be available for buyers to compare, with at least one high output iForce 5.7-liter engine in the mix of cabs, trims, and drive options. Some regions, including Texas and other southeastern states, will have at least two Tundras with the 5.7-liter.
Overall, Toyota seems to be very well prepared to dig in and wage a full frontal assault for the minds and pockets of full size truck owners. Ford and GM execs are on record saying they don't intend to give an inch.
For the Tundra, $100 million dollars is just the cost of entry into this game.