Scion: Are We There Yet?
Online Media Daily reports that Toyota's Sciontologists are building a "branded nightclub cum hangout spot" in the virtual world known as there.com. Programmers Metaversatility are creating a Scion-shaped party tower based on the carmaker's three currents models (xA, xB and tC). They hope to entice a big slice of there's [claimed] 1m virtual inhabitants into the Scion party zone. To increase cyber-footfall, Scion will advertise its virtual hang within there via "interactive kiosks" and billboards. If all that isn't weird enough– and we think it is– what's the bet Scion will pay inhabitants to "suggest" heading over to Club Scion? Will these virtual shills get virtual rewards or cold hard cash? Will they even be real? What's to stop there from using artificial intelligence avatars to drum-up business, or, more sinisterly, send fake visitors to the fake Club Scion to bolster audience numbers? Will Chevy hire people to create avatars to trash talk Scion and their hangout? How long before someone– real or fake– gets killed? Where's Phillip K. Dick when you need him?
Scion is trying way too hard with their marketing. Between this, the "kill the sheeple" game promoting the xA and endless music/breakdancing/graffiti "art" sponsorships, the geniuses at Scion seem to have read the press clippings a few too many times. Sadly, the "trying too hard to be cool" has seeped in to their design. Look at how the new xB incorporated every automotive flavor of the month - marker lights in the mirrors, the Jetta III antenna, projector headlights, fake brake cooling vents, the "chopped" profile... there is even a little Audi in the front grille. Scion seems to think they have cracked the code. Forgotten in all this is that the reason Scion's sell is that they are cheap Toyota's with lots a standard equipment, the golden reputation and not a lot of direct competition. They all are pretty good cars, especially for the money. GM could market the Aveo and the HHR the same way, sell 20's and cupholder lights at the dealer and sponsor freestyle battles. In the end, they are inferior automobiles and people don't trust GM's.
Bizarre! They so blew it wth the second gen xB. I think wibblywobbly has it right--they're trying to hard, and not seeing the forest for the trees. But then, I don't know too many post-adolescents, although my gut says that second life stuff is for people who don't have a life.
Nice piece RF.
"based on the carmaker's three currents models (xA, xB and tC)." This must be old news, older than the xD?