Scion: A Mile Deep, A Foot Wide?

May 31, 2006

Scion, Toyota’s “youth” brand, is on the prowl for some new marketing partners from the ad agency world. Sources say that Toyota, while enthusiastic about the progress of Scion, is starting to strategize how to grow the brand beyond its current bounds. The concern, says one exec in the know, is that the brand isn’t reaching enough people.

“It’s kind of a mile deep and a foot wide,” said the inside source.

Scion sales are up this year. Overall, the brand is up to 51,800 through April, from about 47,000 the previous year. The tC has quickly become the top seller, while the xB sales have been about flat and the slowest-selling xA is up 22 percent as more buyers explore fuel-efficient models.

Scion uses ad agencies Attik, based in San Francisco and Oasis, N.Y., for strategic and ad services. Toyota is looking at other smallish agencies on both coasts with multi-media and multi-disciplined offerings, but which have handled some brands with broad reach. TV ads, extensive Web marketing and special projects like its own music label have been successful and the brand by all accounts has been over-achieving.—Jim Burt

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