Scion “United”

“United by Individuality,” the new tagline created by Attik for a major integrated campaign for the Toyota Scion, has at its core an oxymoron and puzzle. Indeed, if the big thing now is for top brands to market “personalization” and “individuality” (as Coke, Nike, and Starbucks are doing, to name a few) how individual can any of these mass maneuvers really be?

Well, in the case of the Scion, a vehicle boasting an ugly boxy base that only an owner could love, the possibilities are apparently endless. In May, for an event that sounds like Burning Man meets Pimp My Ride, hundreds of Scion owners and their guests gathered in the Nevada desert for a “Scion United” happening.

More than 300 individualized cars — “from mild to wild” modified xAs, xBs, tCs and xDs — were documented for photo and film.

The result is a 60-second spot, but also an embarrassment of print that will run in targeted magazines in September. That work includes a gatefold and a poster. The latter on one side features an aerial shot of almost 200 vehicles in the desert while the reverse (my favorite) shows side-by-side profiles of 100 different individualized cars. For example, Jesus emblazoned his car with green palm-tree-like graphics, while Susan painted her bumper pink.

Boxes within boxes within boxes, the ad is delightful to behold — as if the Scions are a series of Matchbox cars. While uber modern, it also conjures some nostalgia for the car ads that ran in Life magazine 40 years ago.

Also in production for the September issue of Tokion: Each subscriber’s name imprinted on a Scion will be part of the cover art. Now that’s personal entertainment. –Barbara Lippert