Toyota prides itself for next-generation thinking. So it’s no surprise that the car company that brought the hybrid automobile to the masses has turned to children for a creative marketing campaign.
Kids draw the darndest things?
They do, indeed. And since 2004 when Toyota started its annual Dream Car Art Contest, youngsters from around the world have responded resoundingly, drawing and entering more than 660,000 pictures of their dream car of the future.
This year, Toyota is putting the car art into motion. It has partnered with creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon Tokyo to re-imagine the drawings of 90 finalists as six-second animated videos.
‘an Eco car that unites the multi-racial citizens’
Today it published the first “Dream Car of the Day” Vine and it will follow with 89 more daily posts leading up to the August 27 award ceremony in Japan. Today’s post, embedded above, is based on the work of Asher Royce Anthony, a 7-year-old from Malaysia. His description — “This is an Eco car that unites the multi-racial citizens that tours around Malaysia.” — fits perfectly with Toyota’s motives for sponsoring the contest.
“We believe that marketing activities from brands should not just be about selling products, but should contribute to bettering society,” said Masanao Tomozoe, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Sales & Marketing Corporation. “Toyota Dream Car Art Contest is one of the initiatives that bring this company’s thinking and position to life. With the Dream Car of the Day campaign, it is our hope that as many people as possible will come in contact with the children‘s artwork through the activation of our Vine videos, and will come away inspired by their optimism and vision.”
The process of turning a child’s drawing into a Vine is quite involved, taking up to three weeks for each, said Masashi Fujiyoshi, senior art director at Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon Tokyo. There’s a team of about 30, including directors, camera operators, lighting, props, 3D modelers, 3D printing engineers, production managers and web producers.
But first the three-person creative team studies the work and description and tries to imagine how the car would move.
“Then we find the best match with our directors to make this come to life,” Fujiyoshi said via email. “We have various skills and talents in 3D CG creation, stop motion animators, hand drawing animation, paper cut animation, etc., and we try to make the best match to the work.
“We bring out the charm point of the car/story through the viewpoint of the director and make it come alive in 6 seconds!”
Fujiyoshi said they decided to use Twitter’s Vine for the video medium because of its quick, easy viewing and its looping properties. “We preferred looping because it allows viewers look at it over and over again and make new discoveries each time, something we thought was a perfect fit for kid’s drawings,” Fujiyoshi said. “With 90 works in the line, we wanted people to experience as many as they possible so Vine was a good fit with its easy viewing short clip platform.”