Amtrak Carries Powerful Image for Toyota

DALLAS Two Amtrak locomotives are hauling more than passengers across their routes. They are also carrying advertising for the Toyota Tundra full-size pickup truck.

In a new approach to outdoor advertising developed by Toyota agency Saatchi & Saatchi, the Amtrak train engines have been painted to resemble mobile billboards with oversized images of the Tundra Double-Cab pickup.

The locomotives are running on the Texas Eagle route between San Antonio and Chicago and on the Silver Service run from Washington, D.C. to Miami. The ads will appear through December, Toyota said.

Toyota is the first automaker, and the second company, to use Amtrak locomotives for advertising.

Toyota is building a Tundra plant in San Antonio, so the Texas Eagle route was chosen for one of the engines, Toyota said. The Silver Service route gives the truck good exposure on the East Coast and through the Southern states, according to the company.

“Getting unique messages out to consumers is always a challenge, but with this Tundra-train tie-in, we are able to cut through the clutter and send a clear message about Tundra’s capabilities to the people riding the trains, as well as to all of those who see the trains en route,” said Deborah Wahl Meyer, Toyota corporate marketing communications manager.

Originally, the agency planned to “wrap” the train with the image, similar to advertising on buses and buildings, a spokesman said. But wear and tear concerns eliminated that option. So, Amtrak and Corporate Image Media recommended the paint that the carrier uses for the stripes on its trains.