Toyota crowdsourcing ideas for good

(Yet another post on a car brand…this in turning into a trend!)

It’s no secret, given all the trouble they had with the Prius last year, that Toyota needed to do some serious work on their PR and branding, and I think their Ideas For Good campaign is a great start.

The technologies which go into developing their cars far surpass other industries. In the past they have shared these ideas and innovations with others, including universities and hospitals, but via this campaign they are now asking the public for ideas on how their technology could be used ‘for good’.

From November 2010 when the campaign was initially launched, people could upload their ideas via a simple but nicely designed microsite, in the hope of winning the prize of working with Toyota to develop their idea further….oh, and choosing one of Toyota’s cars for themselves too!

Submissions are now closed, but you can still show your support by voting on your favourite idea. Finalists will be announced on the 10th April and people will be asked to vote on which they prefer up until the end of the month. The winner will then be announced on the 6th May.

I really love the idea behind this campaign, and the fact that it has given Toyota a chance to showcase how their innovations have helped others and their involvement with the wider community, so I’m a little surprised that they have not done a better job at promotion. There are hardly any votes on the ideas, which in my view is a sure sign of poor marketing around the campaign. There is also no mention of it on Facebook. Could be because the submission date has passed, but surely whilst still in the period of voting on finalists, now should be the time they are pushing this more than ever?

On a positive note, I do quite like the ‘Auto-Biographies’ which they DO have on their Facebook page, which allows people to upload their car stories, and in some cases have them animated. They are also due to launch a campaign on the 7th March which will give 100 cars to 100 do-gooders over 100 days, again voted for by the public. Another great crowdsourcing idea, lets hope that they do a better job of promoting it!

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