Open the March Issue of InStyle and Check Your Heart Rate With This Interactive Toyota Ad

The Camry gatefold insert was 6 months in the making

Headshot of Chris Ariens

Toyota approached InStyle magazine last year about a new way to advertise its 2018 Camry.

Six months later, the result is a first-of-its-kind magazine insert that takes readers inside the midsize sedan in an extrasensory way: through sight, sound, smell and touch.

First, readers grip door handles, placing their thumbs on built-in sensors. When pulled open, the scent of supple leather permeates as a simulated heart rate is measured.

Toyota worked with its agency of record, Saatchi & Saatchi, and multiple vendors to build the print creative.

“By re-creating the 2018 Camry dashboard in a sensory pop-up experience, complete with sights, sounds and a new car scent, Toyota is using a breakthrough stylish creative unit to capture attention and engage with readers,” said Nancy Inouye, media director, Toyota Motor North America.

One of the companies in the supply chain was Structural Graphics, a dimensional print marketing firm, which also created this behind-the-scenes video of its creation. “In today’s advertising environment, you really need to find ways to break through the clutter and engage consumers. This magazine spectacular certainly accomplishes this,” said CEO Mike Maguire.

The insert helped the publication exceed its March budget, an InStyle rep said. The issue includes seven new advertisers across multiple categories, including travel, beauty and fashion and retail. This is just one of several multiple impact units, including a cover from LVMH that runs 10 pages, and an eight-page spread from Target Denim.

InStyle drew 14.2 million monthly combined digital and print readers in December.

Toyota says the InStyle activation is “the only execution of this type, but we will always be looking for ways to push the medium in future campaigns.”

Meredith Corp. took ownership of InStyle, along with other Time Inc. titles, Feb. 1. The insert, in the March issue with Oprah Winfrey gracing the cover, is available to print subscribers only.


@ChrisAriens chris.ariens@adweek.com Chris Ariens is the managing editor and director of video at Adweek.