Oh Good: Toyota Teams With Teen Vogue To Keep Girls Off The Phone

April 5, 2013

Hey, ladies: if you liked the BIC Crystal for Her ballpoint pen, you're going to love Toyota's new public awareness campaign for teenage girls!

Toyota has teamed up with Teen Vogue to harvest email addresses from teenage consumers spread the word about fashion and hair and makeup and boys and something about distracted driving. We're not 100% sure about that last part, though. We think we heard something about it in the awesome video embedded above, but with all the music and curling irons we got a little distracted. Irony!

Whatever it is, it's part of a joint venture called Arrive in Style, which -- according to a press release -- aims "to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving among teenage girls and inspire them to make a mutual commitment with their mothers to drive safely". 

Which, in all seriousness, is fine. Teens of both sexes are especially bad about texting and driving. (Though it appears adults are catching up with them.) We know that boys and girls often have divergent interests, so reaching them on their individual "home turf", so to speak, makes sense.

But if you're going to tackle an issue as important as distracted driving, perhaps you should foreground that in your promotional materials. We don't expect every campaign to be as poignant and heartfelt as the AT&T "Last Text" documentary, but in the clip above, talk of distracted driving seem like an afterthought -- something to kill time between photoshoots. 

The Arrive in Style press release is especially telling. For the less cynical among you, we've annotated a couple of excerpts:

"We are thrilled to partner with Toyota on this important initiative. [ANNOTATION: Because Toyota will give us advertising dollars. Delicious advertising dollars.] When we saw the scary statistics around distracted driving, we knew this was a cause worth taking on," said Jason Wagenheim, Teen Vogue Vice President and Publisher.... 

"Teen Vogue really shares our commitment to help keep teens safe, and with their reach and readership they’ve been a great partner to help amplify our longstanding efforts to empower teen girls to be safer drivers," said Marjorie Schussel, Corporate Manager of Corporate Marketing for Toyota Motor North America (TMA). [ANNOTATION: These teens will be asking for cars soon. Hopefully, they'll ask for Toyotas.] "We also are excited to involve moms since our approach to teen safety has always included outreach to parents as well." [ANNOTATION: Moms should totally love our cars, too!]

...The [Arrive in Style] site will feature Toyota’s Mutual Driving Agreement that mothers and daughters can e-sign and share via Facebook for a chance to win monthly prizes. In addition to signing the Agreement, teens can upload a photo on the microsite of them and their mom "air driving" for a chance to win a trip to New York City to be featured in the February 2014 issue of Teen Vogue. [ANNOTATION: Providing your email address will also give you access to "occasional email updates" from Toyota, Teen Vogue, and companies to which Teen Vogue has sold your contact information "selected companies that Teen Vogue thinks may be of interest to me".]

"Air driving"? With fun like that, who needs Pinterest?

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