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March 20, 2005

Scion's Co-Created Brand Hijack Attempt

“Thank you Scion for bringing out 70 musicians from Los Angeles to Austin. Show me a record company that is going to do that!”
-- Double G daKONDUCTOR from daKAH, a hip-hop orchestra --

On Saturday afternoon at SXSW, Scion, the upstart youthful skewing car brand from Toyota, pulled off a co-created brand hijack by staging a semi-exclusive free music showcase for daKAH, a 70 member strong hip-hop orchestra.


Alex Wipperfurth, author of Brand Hijack, defines the co-created hijack as, “… the act of inviting subcultures to co-create a brand’s ideology, use, persona, and pave the road for adoption by the mainstream.” And yesterday, Scion seeded itself amongst an early adopter market of 750+ influential and leading edge musical provocateurs by providing them an experience they otherwise would not have experienced.

Double G daKONDUCTOR is right … no record company in its right mind would fly out 70 musicians for a 90-minute showcase. But daKAH is a band worthy of notice and it wouldn’t surprise me if daKAH becomes the next Polyphonic Spree. After all … it was SXSW 2002 where Polyphonic Spree was discovered by influential, leading edge musical provocateurs at a music showcase.

The question is … has Scion bet right and will daKAH blow-up like Polyphonic Spree did? And if daKAH does blow-up (as I think they will), how tightly associated will Scion be with music’s newest 'it' band?


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Is this a co-Created Brand Hijack? I'm not sure if this one incident is enough to make that claim. This seems more like good grassroots marketing among influentials. What I think Scion is missing (to truly become a hijacked brand) is a myth or folklore - something for consumers to believe in and get lost in. Maybe I'm missing it, but I haven't seen it yet; at least not like I’ve seen it from a Red Bull or Blair Witch.

Tom, this isn't an isolated incident. Scion has been putting on 'free' shows featuring music acts appealing to hip, trendsetting urbanites in select markets for the past few months.

Admittedly, tt has yet to really make noise. But they hope it does in similar fashion to how Red Bull gained traction with the influentials in the extreme sports world.

Scion marketers are hoping to get these influentials to 'hijack' the Scion brand and in time it may just happen. This is a brand hijack tactic that is still being implemented ... time will tell if Scion gets hijacked by these influentials.

is there a podcast of the music showcase? i would think if Scion wants to get the buzz going, they would have some blog approach as well. having a podcast of the event tied to a blog would seem a good way to keep the ripples expanding in the pond...just a thought.

Scion seems to be going the old school route and doing a DVD of their sponsored music showcases. They were recording the event and signs were posted alerting attendees that their likeness may make it onto a DVD.

The blog/podcast would be the new school way to keep the ripples expanding in the pond.

One can argue that Red Bull got hijacked by extreme sports folks because of the myth behind Red Bull - secret ingredient (bull testosterone) that will help athletic performance. My argument is that I'm not sure what Scion's secret ingredient is and therefore it will be harder for them to get hijacked.

well, i would say they - Scion - doesn't quite get the entire scope of blog driven brands. to me, if you really want blog culture to "hijack" anything, it would be prudent to provide data/info/whatever via the medium of choice. kinda hard to create a conversation if we have to wait for a dvd to show up in the mail. blog time is real time, right?

Red Bull gained traction among extreme sports athletes, because they helped them immensely, by sponsoring them individually as well as their events. No other reason. It was true grassroots common sense, and they were doing it well before the marketing guru community even had them on radar, (which is one of the methods marketing execs and CEO's just do not get these days...they think it can happen instantly). The testosterone factor was already there among the athletes. Getting an energy lift from an espresso alternative who helps your sport every time you buy one, that was the ticket.

Scion is a disappointment to Toyota in a lot of ways, not the least of which is sales. It has not yet "stuck" with the youth market, for exactly the reasons Tom pointed out in his first post above. There is no myth, folklore, or real reason to be yet, other than Toyota having the sack to market a neat-looking, inexpensive matchbox on wheels....different, but the Mini was first. The kids see the suggestive billboard ads of blinged-out Scions, with wings, wheels, big exhausts and vinyl graphics. But they know that's a Toyota creation, and corporate fantasy. It didn't come from within the bling community itself, so they are not responding to it. It's not legitimized yet. The orchestra thing is not going to do it either, but as cash-rich as Toyota is right now, it will take them a long while to realize it....they are pulling a GM.

Scion needs a story. They need to race it, make insurgent-proof Iraqi police cars out of them, get pimps and rockstars to drive them, or SOMETHING to build stories around. Until then it's just "decent small cars from Toyota". That's a better position than many brands have, but it won't last too long.

was at the sxsw show and loved daKAH, but I didn't really know or notice what Scion is...
what is so urban about it? small and easy to park? doesn't get tickets? can't be broken into easily? doesn't look like every other car on the block (not a SUV)? If they were trying to market to me, and baby you better believe I am their target, the warm fuzzy feeling from the great show hasn't translated into me believeing they know what I want in a car.

Toyota's snuck an xB onto a prominent spot on "Pimp My Ride" and an even more prominent spot on "Rides" where 5 Axis did tricked out versions of the xB and xA models.

They're keeping the base price low enough (around $14k) to appeal to kids with dabs of disposable income. Their new Scion TV spots target the car straight at the heart of the Gen-Y tuner/ricer "I need a ride with lotsa base thump to haul around all my partyin' peeps" crowd and I suspect it's working.

My only big head-scratcher is why they used the "Scion" brand name for 3 different models that seem to bear no real design similarily. Those who are only casually familiar with Scions don't know the xA, xB, and tC model names or what they stand for. I think this weakens the brand...

Thanks nice info Ste syd.. keep it up..

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