It’s one thing to find your target audience at (what some might call) a niche event like a music festival that can draw attendance numbers of 50,000-plus for some of the more popular events (like Life Is Beautiful or Stagecoach). Toyota has always wanted to connect with younger consumers through music and festivals but wanted to find a partnership that would allow the brand to connect with even more music lovers.
The brand teamed up with Oath in 2016 to begin live streaming some of these major events and creating a branded player that would stream the event across Oath properties. In 2017, Toyota and Oath live streamed Firefly, Panorama (replaced by Stagecoach in 2018), Life Is Beautiful and Voodoo using Yahoo Entertainment.
“Toyota is a champion of emerging music and artist discovery, and we view this as a great opportunity to engage with Toyota guests, in particular a young and diverse audience,” Nancy Inouye, national media manager for Toyota Motor North America, said. “We are constantly looking for authentic and innovative ways to insert the brand into the music vertical to reach our target audience. Live music events and the Oath live stream partnership truly complements our marketing mix to accomplish this on a broad scale.”
“Toyota as a whole has been very interested over the fast few years in aligning with a millennial consumer based on the launches that they have, like Prius and Yaris. They felt like music was a great way for them to expand that relationship with that audience,” Rick Fellen, VP and industry lead, automotive for Oath, said.
While the results from the 2018 festival circuit are still in the works, Toyota and Oath shared 2017 results and some tips on what marketers can learn when working in the live music space.
“It’s great to have onsite vehicle presence at some of these music festivals, but you have other kinds of integrations that you can do that make a lot of sense,” Fellen said. That’s why creating a branded experience for music fans to live stream their favorite artists was a great fit for Toyota to reach a wider, but targeted, audience.
Overall, the 2017 effort led to more than 83 million views (a 107 percent increase from the previous year) across the four festivals with an average tune in time of 15 minutes, which is considered a “high average for us,” according to Fellen. That tune in time was up 26 percent from 2016.
Because of the Oath partnership, Toyota was able to target ads to millennials watching the festivals online, who also happened to be in the market for a new car. Toyota found that the push into live music led to a 23 percent lift in purchase consideration among 18–24-year-olds looking to buy a car. Plus, the audience in 2017 had a higher recall of Toyota’s “Let’s go places” tagline, “in part due to messaging and creative optimization,” Inouye added.
A big takeaway from 2017 was the importance of running a campaign like this across screens.
“We used to only run this on desktop due to the mechanics of how we were streaming the event, but over the last couple of years, we’ve expanded that reach across mobile and tablet,” Fellen said. “Mobile was a really important component and seems to be a much more important component moving forward.”
Additionally, bringing some customization into the experience was a key lesson from 2017 that Toyota and Oath implemented for 2018. Fans want the ability to toggle between stages at these music festivals, as many of them have multiple acts performing at the same time.