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Scion Reaches Out With Street Displays

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NEW YORK Pedestrians in New York and Chicago might be startled when passing storefront windows displaying Scion digital billboards: As they approach, the cars on screen will move farther away from them.

The displays are part of Scion's "Out of reach" push launched over the weekend for its limited tC Release Series 4.0. The Toyota brand is only selling 2,300 of the vehicles, but hopes to use their elusiveness to further position the nameplate as cutting-edge and drum up some word-of-mouth buzz.

"The more we can involve people in the marketing, the better," said Simon Needham, Attik's creative director. "It's just more memorable."

Attik created the month-long campaign with technology company InWindow Outdoor, which helped implement the interactive displays. The screens will be located in Chicago near Millennium Park and in New York next to Bryant Park. Malbon Brothers Farms handled outdoor placement of the displays.

San Francisco-based Attik has also launched a campaign site, www.scion.com/rstc, and an online display ad campaign.

To further link the online and offline elements, Scion street teams will give away what Needham describes as "hipster nightlife guides" listing indie music and events.

Scion has established a cult following through its association with hip culture and music. Its interactive strategy has tried followed a similar path by exploring up-and-coming venues like virtual worlds Gaia Online and There.com.

With the interactive billboards, Scion is further differentiating itself, Needham said, in trying to reach its target audience, which mainly consists of males in their early- to mid-20s.

"It's less about trying to sell a car than communicating that Scion is doing things differently," he said.