RAV4 climb 6 Saatchi & Saatchi

Toyota’s New Climbable RAV4 Hybrid Billboard Rocks Times Square

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During the New York Auto Show, Toyota erected a billboard to showcase its RAV4 Hybrid crossover, and it was unlike any other.

RAV4 Billboard rock wall 1 - Saatchi & Saatchi 900

The RAV4 Hybrid’s marketing program is being supported by Saatchi and Saatchi.  Together the agency and Toyota came up with a unique idea to spur interest in the new 2016 RAV4 Hybrid.

We reached out to Erich Funke, Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi LA and asked him what the inspiration behind the piece was.  He told us, “The piece was inspired by the inherent challenge: ‘How far will you take it?’  How far will you go to stretch yourself as a person, to embrace new adventures and try new things?

“The decision to pose this challenge came directly from insight about our target.  These are people who embody this spirit–people who actively go out and experience new things.  Doing a static billboard was antithetical to our approach of building a real, tactile and active experience.

And to this end, we built something for Toyota that, in the midst of all the electronic ads in Times Square, cut through the clutter.”

RAV4 climb 1 Saatchi & Saatchi 900

We also asked Mr. Funke who on the team had the initial idea for the active billboard.  Mr. Funke told us, “The idea stemmed from a creative within the agency, an Art Director, Vidur Raswant.  We are very happy with how it turned out and believe it stayed true to the vision.  A project like this had never been done before, so there were a lot of challenges to make it happen.  The activation definitely exceeded out expectations.  The response was really positive.”

One climber was novice Christina Fate, who said, “I never rock climbed a day in my life before this.”  She became involved by being the fiancé of RAV4 rally driver Ryan Millen.

RAV4 climb 2 Saatchi & Saatchi

The 1,112 square foot billboard took 2,400 hours to construct and eight days to install.  The vertical climb was 96 feet.  Using the 117 hand-holds a professional climber could scale the wall in about 15 minutes.

rav4 hybrid road yellow treees

The 2016 RAV4 Hybrid’s marketing campaign is apparently working.  By the end of its third month of sales this March, it had already passed every electric vehicle model in sales.  With more than 8,000 units now sold, the RAV4 Hybrid is breaking out of the green-car sales doldrums and on-track to become a hit for Toyota.

The RAV4 Hybrid’s 33 MPG combined makes it the most fuel efficient, all-wheel drive, affordable compact crossover in America.

John Goreham

John Goreham