Instead of conventional ad campaigns, ATTIK conducted street corner
test drives, staged wild postings featuring graphics that looked like
they were torn from video game screengrabs and graphic novels, held art
events inside an enormous square head that gallery goers walked into,
and organized late night events in abandoned warehouses, complete with
bands, beverages and projected graphics. “Wild postings,” Needham
says, “are all about content and placement. It adds credibility to be
seen in the right places. It’s like launching a band. You send out the
coolest track first to appeal to tastemakers. Once they’re on board, you
release the pop song for a mainstream audience. Same as Scion: You
launch with credibility.”
ATTIK and Scion teamed with Bunchball, the leading provider of community games for online destinations, to provide a unique game solution for the new Scion xB community site, www.want2Bsquare.com. The ATTIK/Scion partnership scored its very first international FWA “Site of the Day” award for this site in 2007.
In the early days, Needham remembers, the
ATTIK events division ran fast and furious. “We supported 200 events a
month at $5,000 per event. A small spend was a blessing in disguise,
since it ensures you remain credible. Plastic cups, beer and a cool
underground band made the events more real, more honest. It felt like
David versus Goliath.”
Pursuit of a younger audience meant digital.
And that means constant change. As Jacob Ford, creative director for
digital in San Francisco’s ATTIK office, explains, “Scion wants us to
explore the next new thing.” That means Scion was the first car company
to launch in Second Life, the first to explore an augmented-reality
driving game, one of the first car companies to film a 3-D ad that ran in
movie theaters to accompany Resident Evil, and soon to be one of the first to release an iAd for the iPad. That energy and change is perfect
for Ford, who says, “We think digitally, and push the work into
different media. Our goal is to extend ideas online so they fit cohesively
with the brand. ATTIK has marketing goals. We want to do something
cool.” In other words, a perfect fit.
Ten years after
the initial Scion launch, Toyota’s relationship with ATTIK is still
going strong. Over the decade ATTIK team members have created work that
is as edgy, and polarizing as the cars themselves. As Peacock says, “ATTIK brings energy. They are not corporate. They are inherently
credible. They aren’t there to glad hand and please. They are there to
do good work.”
When it comes to the Scion and ATTIK relationship, Ron
Lim, creative director at ATTIK, says simply, “You can’t imagine two
more tightly overlapping concentric circles. The ATTIK voice aligns with
the Scion voice. We’re a youth agency. And Scion is the youth brand of
Today, the Scion target market may not be hanging out in
abandoned warehouses. But they are hanging out on Facebook and YouTube. “Our foray into social media execution really kicked into gear with the
launch of the iQ,” Peacock says. “We wanted to take the brand in a new
direction. We wanted to show the fun side of the car in a way that would
play off the fact that the iQ is the world’s smallest four-seater.”
Focusing on reaching young trend leaders where they hang out has led ATTIK and Scion to many fun places, including The Onion, “Americas Finest News Source.” One innovative HTML5 Scion game from ATTIK was featured in the debut iPad edition of the magazine in May 2011 and, since then, the print and digital editions have often carried the agency’s latest interactive ads, including this 2012 version for the Scion iQ urban microcar.
the budget for huge media buys, ATTIK made a number of low-budget
videos for online only. This approach allows them to produce content
quickly, then distribute them on YouTube and the Scion site as online
One particular campaign called Donuts, features four bikini-clad women crammed into a Scion iQ doing donuts in
parking lot and simultaneously attempting to eat donuts and drink milk.
As they say, hilarity ensues. So does controversy. True to form, the
donut spots delivered by ATTIK have polarized the advertising community.
Called “sleazy” by MSN, one of “the year’s crassest ads” by Adweek, and “a porn shoot” by Adrants, the spots were picked up by Rupert Murdoch’s
tabloid The Sun and featured on the Perez Hilton celebrity gossip site.
As expected the ads went viral.
“We’ve taken a lot of heat,” Needham admits. Fortunately, that’s just fine with Scion. Peacock says, “As the marketing manager, I know what we want out of a campaign. We
give ATTIK the brief and then let them go to their talent. We trust
them.” At the end of the day, Peacock believes, “ATTIK is about
substance over style. We go after a young audience. You have to be
around young people who understand that mindset.”
The 2007 Little Deviant campaign used an array of innovative elements to convey a sensational narrative that underscored the xD’s non-conformist personality. These included a dramatic cinema spot, a custom website, a banner campaign, guerrilla activities and this pop-up Spectacular print ad that appeared in targeted print magazines. A story played out across all elements: The xD itself unleashed monstrous Deviants from underground, and through the campaign website, visitors could join the gremlins in customization...all in the spirit of replacing dreary compliance with vibrant creativity.
Having spent ten
years marketing to young adults, it’s a mindset ATTIK understands well. “The thing with girls in bikinis,” Needham laughs, “you put them in
anything and you are going to be successful.”
Despite the Babes &
Donuts video, Scion it seems has finally grown up, along with ATTIK, and
its target audience. Maybe Scion got tired of having its shins kicked
in the media. Maybe it just wanted a larger market share. Maybe it saw
an opportunity to add a heart pumping, butt-kicking 200hp, rear-wheel
drive sports coupe to its line up. For whatever reason, Scion went back
to the drawing board, sharpened its pencils, and bent its French curve
into a shape that actually resembles a car. The result is the Scion
FR-S, a sculpted piece of muscular sheet metal that elicits a
jaw-dropping “Whoa!” first impression. In 30 seconds of adrenaline
pumping video directed by Needham, ATTIK created a spot that promises to
do for Scion sales what Viagra does for men of a certain age.
the Scion audience matures, Needham says, “The shift is on toward a more
meaningful brand. We’re not as flippant or blasé and neither is our
audience. These are tough economic times.” Scion has given its audience
an “achievable” sports car. ATTIK has given them something to be excited