Scion Seeks Viral Boost

NEW YORK Scion is getting into the crest business.
 
As part of a campaign by independent StrawberryFrog, New York, the carmaker last week launched an online effort centered on scionspeaks.com.

Users can create crests on the site by combining pre-selected icons like Scion’s logo and a bat holding a video game controller. The resulting images can then be used in everything from their AIM icons to their Facebook pages.
 
“The idea was that these guys are the people that everyone else pays attention to with their blogs, car clubs and organizations,” said Kevin McKeon, ecd, StrawberryFrog. As part of the effort to reach out to them, enthusiasts were given a password to enter the site weeks before it launched to the public. “We’re letting Scion enthusiasts be our marketing plan,” he said.

The site also hosts interviews with Scion owners and behind-the-scenes footage of how the venue was developed. As part of that process, Tristan Eaton, a graffiti artist and designer known for the toys he makes for Kidrobot, was brought in to design the icons used on the site.

StrawberryFrog’s campaign is reminiscent of the recent Las Vegas Conventions and Visitors Authority effort from R&R Partners. In that one, users could create their own badge with pre-selected icons that made statements such as “Weekend MVP” and “Ratpacker.”
 
Scion uses a variety of agencies for project work such as Scionspeaks. The carmaker, which targets young drivers who want to customize their vehicles, also hosts dance events and screens short films on www.scion.com/broadband.

“It’s the right way to do social media, which is to join a conversation in progress as a brand and enrich that conversation. What a lot of people do is create a fake MySpace page and try to draw people to it,” said McKeon. “These days, people see right through that. It’s all about finding a community already out there.”

StrawberryFrog also works with another automaker, having won the Indian car account Mahindra earlier this year. Other clients include Morgan Stanley and Foster’s Beer.