Damn. The marketers at Toyota (or their media buying proxies) who are running their Teen Safe Driving project called TeenDrive365 are definitely not asleep at the wheel. They know how to market during a crisis.
Only hours after news of Justin Bieber’s drunk driving arrest in Miami splashed across the homepage of CNN.com, Toyota went all-in and secured all of the prime banner advertising real estate on the page.
Beside news that the Biebs had been doing some early morning Fast and Furious driving in a Lamborghini in Miami while drunk and high, there appeared multiple bright red and black banner ads promoting Toyota’s PR project to keep new/young drives alive behind the wheel.
Is this irony? Should Justin’s mother enroll him in the program? After all, Mr. Bieber is just 19 and his mother probably needs to intervene before Justin follows James Dean and Paul Walker in the annals of “young stars killed while driving fast.”
The ads link to a destination page that explains the program and will probably make most parents glad their kids aren’t driving yellow Italian supercars in their teens.
Still, ignoring Bieber’s idiotic decision to drive drunk, a much more astute decision was the decision to jump on the media frenzy around the arrest promote what seems like a worthwhile educational program. There’s no doubt click-through rates are going to be way higher for this ad buy than usual.
Kudos to Toyota’s marketing/advertising team. (They know how to market during a crisis, especially one that isn’t theirs).