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debuted in 2003, it marked one of the first instances where an
automaker dedicated all of its brand marketing resources to a
single segment of buyers; in this case, the target was urban-minded
youths, also described as trend leaders. Over the past several
years, the strategy has paid off: by the end of 2004, Scion had
firmly established itself in the market, forged a place in youth
culture and changed the way an industry thought about marketing.
Scion's signature vehicle, the boxy xB, became synonymous with
originality and individuality for a new generation of car
2008 Scion xB.
In January 2007, the xB was completely redesigned for the first
time in its four-year history. As before, Attik embraced the task
of launching this updated icon. With the car that broke all the
rules the first time around, the challenge became, "How do we do it
again?" After all, what was unconventional in 2003 had now become a
standard. A ubiquitous, ambiguous "coming soon" approach would seem
pedantic and predictable at best, and an ad campaign with a
traditional media buy would likely miss a large share of the target
audience. Instead, Attik went straight to the audience members
themselves for inspiration, moving away from a campaign that spoke
at them, and toward building a movement with them… the people that
truly engage with the Scion brand and share its values.
Scion drivers are passionate about their "boxes." The brand is a
badge of honor for these owners who have created a sort of "box
culture." XB owners flash their headlights at one another – they
love and relish the fact that people think their car is ugly, and
they feel like members of an exclusive society.
Leveraging the Scion ethos, Attik created an aggressive,
multi-layered approach to all things box culture. From dark,
box-inspired cinema spots and viral videos to "Boxhead" people on
the street, as well as a four-part guerrilla poster series (wild
postings) and art exhibits in New York and Los Angeles, Scion's
young, urban audience was immersed in boxes, both in the real-world
and online. The campaign incited people to become a part of a box
movement by asking them, "Want2Bsquare?"
Wild posting series 1 (courtesy: Attik).
One of the most ambitious undertakings of the campaign was a
massive online environment, want2Bsquare.com. Comprised of six worlds
(representing the six sides of a box), each with a unique visual
take on the Scion brand and box culture, people were given an
opportunity to explore another side of Scion for themselves.
Stacked with multi-player games and other discoverable gems, the
site offered movable panoramas inviting users to play, poke, prod,
click and learn more about the new xB. Visitors were rewarded for
their interaction. Each new item they discovered earned points that
could, in turn, be exchanged for real-world Scion swag, such as
shirts, hats, plasma TVs, new xBs, wallpapers, etc. The idea was to
entertain, inform and reward people for spending their time on the
site while immersing them in a Scion experience.
Although most of Attik's campaigns for Scion have featured web
components, this campaign represented the first time the company
centralized all the advertising to a website and made it the core
of the campaign. Attik worked with game developer Bunchball to craft
custom versions of multi-player games, and also developed more than
half of the site's games (all the single-player ones) in-house. In
fact, Attik added over 20 staff members at the beginning of 2007 as
part of a massive scaling-up effort to support the development of
Screen captures of the worlds Urban Wasteland, The Square and
Screen City at want2Bsquare.com.
"Our main goal is to continue to establish a super-credible
brand with Scion," explained Attik's co-founder and group creative
director Simon Needham as the campaign was kicking off. "With all
the campaign elements and activities, what we're trying to do is
inspire people to come to the site, to have fun with the site, and
then make a choice as to whether or not they want to go and view
the xB… It's not like we're trying to sell the car as much as
we're trying to continue to establish credibility and to make our
target audience aware in a subtle manner that there is a new car
about to be launched."
Stills from Scion xB "Box
Each of the campaign's 16 viral films ultimately featured on
want2Bsquare.com resulted from a brief that Attik distributed to
more than a hundred of the world's most talented emerging artists
and production studios. The brief simply called for a boxy theme
and was left open for creativity. Of the 140 treatments which came
back, 16 were given a green light. Attik's creative team read all
the scripts, and then presented the best 30 to Scion. "As with
every other aspect of this campaign," said Needham, "the big plan
when we first set out on this campaign was to do something that
would produce total brain excitement. Each film had to be something
that was going to potentially make people come to the site."
Attik had a hand in overseeing and commenting on all aspects of
the commissioned projects, ensuring that each finished film added
something unique to the site experience. Collaborators in producing
the films included: production companies Anonymous Content, AERO
Films, Buck, Chelsea Pictures, Option-G, Outsider USA, Shilo,
Subliminal Films, Sweet Shop and UltraMegaFilms; editorial
companies Cake, Crew Cuts, Earth2Mars, Film Core and MWP;
design/animation companies 3 Dart, Eight VFX, Graffects, and Lola
VFX; and music and sound design companies Big Foote, Machine Head,
Kicking off the campaign, Scion vice president Mark Templin
shared these words: "Over the past few years, Scion has set a new
standard in the automotive industry for engaging customers. This
phase of the campaign unveils an array of multi-targeted online and
offline elements and events which are designed to create completely
original xB experiences within Scion's target market."
Here are some of the specific details on how the campaign played
• Want2Bsquare.com went live on February 23, featuring the
first four worlds: Gray Matter (where users play games and compete
with each other); The Square (dedicated to pushing the limits of
visual arts); Urban Zoo (a central hub for users to connect,
communicate and redeem their gained points in the Marketplace); and
Urban Wasteland (dedicated to the customization and alteration of
all things). Additional URL suffixes (.info, .org and .tv)
forwarded visitors into the site and were used in specific campaign
elements for tracking purposes.
Stills from Scion xB "Surgery."
• From the night of February 23 through April 9, movie
audiences in key U.S. cities began seeing a campaign-integrated
60-second theatrical spot entitled "Surgery," which also invited
them to visit the site. The spot was conceived by Attik's creative
team, written by copywriter Andy Beach and directed by James Rouse
of Outsider USA.
• On February 28 in key locations in major cities across the
U.S., street teams actively began distributing merchandise and
posting the first flight of a custom set of wild postings, to drive
targeted young adult trend leaders to the website.
• On March 11, street teams began distributing flyers which
allowed recipients to create and assemble their own boxy avatar
• On March 12, a new round of wild postings went up in all
• On March 16, Screen City launched as the fifth world within
want2Bsquare.com, offering an accumulation of the site's
entertainment, including all the previously released viral videos
and several new ones. New games and mini-games were also added,
along with a new xB interstitial with 360-degree rotation and lots
of desktop downloads.
• On March 26, the third flight of wild postings went up
across the U.S., followed on April 9 with the fourth flight.
Throughout this time and on through April, marketing teams
continued distributing merchandise on the streets and in targeted
• On March 29, the sixth world came online: entitled The
Beat, it focused on music culture and the creation of original
compositions. Among its features: musically themed neighborhoods
(hip-hop, electronica, punk rock, jazz/classical); new Dance
Dance Revolution-, Simon Says- and bull-riding-type
games, among many others; new xB mini-games and hood-ads featuring
musical twists; a very unique music mixer; and another new xB
• On April 5-6 in New York City and on April 20-21 in Los
Angeles, Scion presented want2Bsquare Art Shows, featuring
original, square-themed works by artists Dalek, Matzu, Maya Hayuk,
Sage Vaughn, Kelsey Brookes, UPSO, and Freddi C. Each artist was
asked to paint on canvases of two square sizes, 48" x 48" and 24" x
24", which were then assembled into cubes that were suspended from
the ceiling at various heights throughout both galleries. Smaller
cubes displayed the artwork on the outside, while the larger cubes
showed artwork on the inside. As a result, viewers gazing up into
the artwork from directly beneath the boxes became "Boxheads"
"I think the wild postings and the street teams and the events
and everything else that we're doing are all important parts in an
eclectic approach," offered Needham on the campaign's many facets.
"In essence, it's like buying a big bag of candy, and all the
flavors are different, and each time you see wild postings or a
street team, you get to eat one of those bits of candy.
"If you look at the wild postings," Needham continued, "the
whole principle is personalization and customization, which we've
been hammering home since we launched Scion. All the wild postings
are different… there's something for everyone. This is what
personalization is about, finding what suits you, what's right for
you. We hope that the wild postings and some of the other giveaways
are juicy enough eye candy and pleasurable enough to look at to
encourage people to want to go and find out more. We customize
things because we like the way something looks, and that gives us
pleasure. And I think the campaign is basically continuing to
Wild posting series 2.
Since its launch on February 23, unique visits to want2Bsquare.com
have increased about 10 percent per week, and as of July 1, total
page views increased to over 1 million. Users are spending an
average of 36 minutes immersed in the experience, finding out about
the new xB and delving deeper into the Scion culture. The Scion
community has picked up the conversation and is spreading the local
event experience nationally via their blogs, Flickr pages, YouTube
uploads and community forums.
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