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Try My Hybrid - Tomorrow Awards
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Try My Hybrid
How Toyota Norway got their Hybrid owners to let strangers test drive their car for free
Background

In both loyalty and customer satisfaction Toyota Norway are on top. In sales, top two. They have a unique contact with their customers, resulting in top scores in consumer tests for years. Nevertheless, they have a long way to go when it comes to winning new customers.
For the automotive business it is crucial to get people to test-drive cars. The conversion from completed test drives to selling the car is very high. From European tests we know that the propensity to buy a hybrid is very high if you have test driven a hybrid for 15 minutes. However, the numbers of test drives are decreasing. Now people are looking up information online and through friends and acquaintances before buying a car.


The idea

If customers are as happy as tests showed, would they be willing to talk about, show off and even let people try their hybrid, without payment? If so, this would not only be a great story to tell for Toyota as a brand, but also a nice way for people to experience and learn about Toyota hybrids form someone they trust more than car salesmen: the owners themselves.
So, to once and for all prove that Toyota's Hybrid owners are the proudest and most satisfied in Norway, and to get more people interested in Toyota hybrids, we introduced “Try my hybrid”.

Execution

Through Toyota’s Facebook page, we secured a base of 100 hybrid owners all over Norway so proud of their cars that they, without pay, volunteered to let strangers, friends and neighbours test-drive their cars. Selected owners were the faces and voices of the campaign locally and nationally. When this was in place, we launched the website. The website had two ways in: one for hybrid owners where they could sign up, and one for the rest. On the last one people not only could find Hybrid owners close to where they lived, but logging in with Facebook, allowed them to find friends - and friends of friends, who's hybrid they could test drive.
In a small country like Norway, this basically meant that every Norwegian on Facebook indirectly knew a hybrid owner they could test drive with. This completely new approach generated a lot of publicity. 55 newspapers all over Norway ran the story, and during the campaign. The campaign also got a real boost when head of PR at Toyota Norway, Espen Olsen, called the host of "the Morning Club" – one of Norway’s biggest radio shows – Øyvind Loven, who happens to be a hybrid sceptic. Loven was caught totally off guard when Olsen challenged him to try his hybrid on-air. The result was that the entire show was broadcasted live form a Prius the following Friday.
Try my hybrid shows that when a brand dares to let go, their customers can be their greatest vehicles of communication.
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