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Scion Launches 'United' Campaign

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NEW YORK Since its inception in 2003, Scion has gained many fans that are now starring in an expansive, multiplatform campaign for the auto brand. The work breaks Monday with a cinema spot, "Declaration," set to appear in 13,200 theaters.

The "United by individuality" campaign, via Attik, San Francisco, uses creative that was shot in the Nevada desert. The first round of print ads in the September issues of Vice, Tokion and Revolver magazines will be a spread with the phrase: "Individuality runs in the family." An aerial shot of 200 Scion owners' vehicles is on one page, and 100 more are shown in profile on the facing page.

Subscribers to Tokion, a 150,000-circulation arts and lifestyle publication that caters to younger readers, will receive special issues with their name emblazoned on a Scion featured on the cover.

Billboards appearing in 22 markets will show a Scion car belonging to an individual, with the owner's name written on the board.

Thirty- and 60-second TV spots, breaking Aug. 4, will air on Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, Spike and other lifestyle-oriented networks. The spots show Scions gathered in a desert as the familiar "What moves you?" question flashes on the screen. The answer follows: "United by individuality."

"The principle of this campaign is community," said Simon Needham, creative director at Attik. He noted that over the years, the number of owners who customize their cars has grown, especially younger drivers. Scion has always offered customization; ready-to-apply parts can be purchased at dealers and include shifters, panels and lighting.

But since customization has become more popular among owners of other cars, Scion tweaked its consumer pitch. "We thought about how to stay ahead of the crowd," Needham said. "And it was [a] sense of community . . . that these are all owners who want to differentiate themselves."

While the brand delivers smaller cars that offer good fuel economy, so far the Scion demographic -- average age of 35, male and deeply immersed in alternative arts -- has not changed.

"When we look at our buyers over the last six months, we are still seeing the younger buyer, our same demographic," said Dawn Ahmed, corporate brand manager for Scion. "We do like to track that to make sure we are marketing to the right people."

Scion's sales have rebounded this year, due in part to an update of existing models. After dropping 24.8 percent last year, sales were up 8 percent through June, per Autodata, Woodcliff Lake, N.J.

The campaign will see a new wave of creative in a few months, when the TV buys halt. But the "United by individuality" theme will remain for the entire 18 months of the campaign.

Scion, which is owned by Toyota, spent $30 million on ads last year and $10 million through May, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

READ BARBARA LIPPERT'S TAKE ON THE NEW SCION CAMPAIGN.