Toyota’s Prius teams up with GSTV for social media effort

TORRANCE, CA: Toyota and Michigan-based Gas Station TV (GSTV) recently partnered to launch “Prius Neighborhood,” a social media initiative to promote Toyota’s new Prius and GSTV’s cause-related efforts. The initiative is part of Toyota’s larger PR campaign for the 2010 Prius which launched in June and aims to reach a broader consumer base.

“The campaign strategy is the idea of the harmony between man, nature, and machine,” said Doug Frisbie, national media manager at Toyota. “It’s not a typical sponsorship. Social networking is a very important part of the campaign.”

“It was a perfect fit because the Prius campaign is all about harmony,” added David Leider, CEO of GSTV. “We decided we wanted to… be more focused on being cause-related.”

The team, including GSTV AOR Airfoil PR and Toyota’s ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi LA, created an opportunity for community organizers to submit their local event promotion for consideration on GSTV’s local station pump TV’s and on its microsite . Users, including individuals, organizations, and charities are tasked to submit their local event details on regional Prius Neighborhood Twitter pages, as well as on separate Prius and GSTV Facebook and Twitter pages.

PR tactics include nonprofit outreach and traditional trade and consumer media relations to reach more mainstream press.

Toyota announced in May that Facebook, Twitter, and Howstuffworks would assume a large part of the ongoing Prius launch strategy, including the promotion of a six-city tour in July for which the team will retrofit public bus shelters with solar panels that demonstrate the Prius solar roof feature. The team will also promote temporary flower-shaped solar stations in key locations where consumers can recharge their laptops and phones.

“Every single thing we’re doing will have a presence on Facebook and Twitter. We’re keeping it fresh by releasing information over a period of time so people have something new to interact with,” said Frisbie.

Toyota AOR GolinHarris worked on elements of the Prius launch campaign but did not assist with this latest initiative.

Neither team would disclose costs.