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New Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive Site Asks Hybrid Owners: 'What's Your Reason?'

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2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid

SEE ALSO: Compare All Models in Toyota Buyer's Guide™

Community Site Developed by Saatchi & Saatchi LA and Firstborn Invites Owners to Create the Content

NEW YORK, Jan. 2 -- Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., a leading manufacturer of energy efficient vehicles, today announced the re-launch of its Web site for Toyota hybrid owners, a community that has grown exponentially in recent years.

Designed by Saatchi & Saatchi LA and Enjoy User Experience and developed/produced by Firstborn ( along with Vital Stream, the site explores the amazing diversity of Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) owners by inviting them to create profiles of their reasons for owning a hybrid vehicle.

"Toyota's more than 600,000 hybrid owners are very passionate about their vehicles and the reasons they drive them," said Gregg Benkendorfer, National Manager of Media Strategy and Digital Marketing for Toyota. "The new community site taps into that excitement by letting users visually represent themselves through graphic art and video. Members will help promote the HSD brand as they evangelize about their own personal experiences."

The Toyota site allows users to view owners by a host of attributes, from age group to vehicle color. Most importantly, it offers hybrid owners the opportunity to share their reasons for driving a hybrid and to provide some statistics about themselves and their vehicles. Each and every community member is visually represented, with their profile searchable and viewable in a variety of ways, making the forum a great way to see the diversity of community members.

The site also includes fun features such as an interactive distance map, which charts how much further Toyota hybrid vehicles travel than ordinary cars, and a gas savings calculator.

"The HSD site is based on the theme that everyone has their own reasons for owning a Toyota hybrid," said Peter Kang, interactive creative director for Saatchi & Saatchi LA. "Whether it's the fuel economy, the technology or the environment, we're fueling the movement toward HSD vehicles at a grassroots level by bringing to light the many tangible benefits."

Saatchi & Saatchi LA joined forces with Firstborn to bring the site to life with dynamic visualization of member data and their reasons for owning a hybrid. The site provides a palette of concepts, statements, imagery and sounds for users to choose from to help them illustrate their reasons. Users also can personalize their reasons with their own images and video clips.

"We are thrilled to be part of developing a site that celebrates and encourages environmental awareness," said Michael Ferdman, president, Firstborn. "The blueprint for the site is simple: let everyone see all of the reasons why people choose Toyota hybrid vehicles, in a visually cool and compelling way. We wanted to develop a site where people could have a lot of fun exploring and being part of this unique 'green' community."

About Toyota Motor Corporation

Toyota is the world leader in sales of hybrid vehicles. Toyota and Lexus combined offer five hybrid models in the United States in the mid-sized sedan, SUV and sports car segments. In all, Toyota's hybrid vehicles have saved over 150 million gallons of gas in the United States, and avoided more than 3 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. Hybrid sales are led by the Prius, which topped 500,000 worldwide in April. This year alone, Toyota will sell more than 100,000 Prius in the U.S., which features Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive.

Aside from Hybrid technology, the company's environmental initiatives in North America include: recycling, reducing landfill waste, conserving natural resources, using renewable energy, and nurturing strong partnerships with organizations like the U.S. National Parks Service, National Public Lands Day, National Arbor Day Foundation, Audubon Society, the American Lung Association, and EMA.

About Saatchi & Saatchi LA

Saatchi & Saatchi LA's dream is to positively influence U.S. popular culture. Since its founding in 1975, the West Coast office of Saatchi & Saatchi has been creating world-famous creative ideas on behalf of its clients. The agency recently made history with its campaign to launch the Toyota Yaris, which included the first ever ad-sponsored "mobisodes" of Fox's "Prison Break." The agency picked up two Bronze Lions at Cannes 2006, including one for Toyota Tacoma "Tide," the only U.S. automotive spot to medal at the festival. Saatchi & Saatchi LA is the agency of record for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., and it also serves Toyota Dealer Associations and Procter & Gamble.

About Firstborn

Firstborn is a renowned interactive design and technology studio with headquarters in New York and Los Angeles. Through its innovative use of technology applications, unparalleled project management and award-winning design expertise, Firstborn helps marketers create meaningful brand experiences that achieve strategic business objectives in sales, marketing, training and communications. Since its inception in 1997, Firstborn has provided breakthrough interactive solutions for a diverse range of high- profile brands and worked with some of the world's top advertising agencies. For more information, please visit