Who could have imagined a world without live events? Music festivals, food and wine festivals, sporting events – fans packed together to share an often once-in-a-lifetime experience. 2020 threatened to close the curtain on it all, but Toyota knew the show must go on.

Instead of cutting the lights on live events, Toyota and its experiential brand partners found innovative ways to bring world-class entertainment to fans around the globe, while supporting the industries that bring it all to life.

“This unexpected situation encouraged us to open the door to a whole new realm of possibilities,” said Matt Ozawa, engagement marketing manager, Toyota Motor North America. “While we eagerly await the return of live events, it’s exciting to see these authentic, long-term partnerships innovate and evolve in the face of adversity.”

Here are a few of the innovative ways Toyota continued to connect with fans around the world:

  • Lollapalooza, July 30 – August 2, 2020 – The Toyota Music Den, a festival performance space showcasing emerging talent, went virtual in 2020 with a livestream reaching a global audience – a first for the Music Den. Toyota’s multicultural agency team including Burrell Communications, Intertrend and Conill Advertising, along with Saatchi & Saatchi joined forces to curate a diverse musical lineup. Artists DaniLeigh, mxmtoon, Masego and Princess Nokia performed from separate locations with the RAV4 Hybrid making a special cameo. More than 2.4M fans from around the world tuned in to the virtual party. As an added bonus, four thousand custom Toyota-designed bandanas (a favorite Lollapalooza memento) were mailed to registered fans.

  • Toyota Bonus Bucks, September 19 – 20, 2020 – The 9th Annual Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners Tournament in Florence, Alabama was still able to take place as scheduled with COVID-19 safety measures taking priority. Toyota truck owners competed in a socially-distanced bass fishing tournament on the waters with their boats and were cheered on (from a distance) by Team Toyota pro anglers Gerald Swindle, Mike Iaconelli, Terry Scroggins, Matt Arey and Brandon Lester. 242 two-angler teams participated with 31 teams consisting of employees from five Toyota manufacturing plants.

  • Bonnaroo, September 24 – 26, 2020 – The Toyota Sanctuary of Self Love, curated by Paramore’s Hayley Williams, gave fans the chance to virtually experience engaging conversations about mental health, origins of gender, diversity in wellness, and more with esteemed panelists. Toyota donated a total of $30,000 to organizations featured in the panels, including: Therapy for Black Girls, Dive In Well, Creative Futures Collective, The Orenda Tribe and The Okra Project. Concurrently on social channels, Sienna drivers showcased their vehicle as a safe and comfortable atmosphere to welcome the practice of wellness, no matter the location. Close to 250K viewers participated via Bonnaroo’s livestream.

  • Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One, August – October 2 – 11, 2020 – With more than 60 virtual events, fans and foodies were able to interact with world-class chefs and mixologists from the safety of their own home kitchen. Toyota gifted three thousand custom oven mitts to viewers and Toyota’s sponsorship helped support the fight against hunger for No Kid Hungry and Food Bank For New York City, whose missions are more crucial than ever.

Toyota’s core value of “Respect for People” continues to be the North Star guiding how the brand connects with consumers. From world-class events to its class-leading vehicles, Toyota will continue to raise the bar in new ways.

Originally published January 27, 2021

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