Toyota sold just shy of 2.5 million vehicles in America last year, making the 80-year-old company the sales leader for the fifth year in a row among automotive brands.
There’s just one thing: Toyota isn’t an automotive brand. Not anymore, anyway.
With the kickoff of its “Start Your Impossible” campaign earlier this month, the Japanese automaker has put the world on notice that it is now a mobility company, a brand whose products obviously include cars but one busy broadening its offerings to a wide variety of futuristic devices, often with built-in digital capabilities, that enable human motion in ways that go well beyond driving down the road.
Several of these products (not yet on the market, though vaguely promised at some point in the future) notably include a number of devices specifically engineered to assist people with a range of physical disabilities to become fully ambulatory.
In an apparent sign of just how committed Toyota is to its new mobility positioning, the company has entered into an eight-year partnership with the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, both of which have contributed athletes to star in a new Toyota ad. (Watch it below.) A broad array of supporting creative material, from a new website to social-media efforts, will further cement Toyota’s new messaging and market orientation.
“The vision for the company is to communicate a brand shift from vehicles to overall mobility,” Chris Schultz, Toyota’s gm for Olympic-Paralympic marketing, confirmed. The “Start Your Impossible” campaign, he added, is “more than a campaign.”
“This is a way of thinking as we move forward of how we want to be viewed as a company,” he said.