Want to get a social media conversation going? Then create a false controversy.
That’s the approach Toyota has taken for its new Prius line. To get the word out in social media circles, the automaker could have talked about the Prius V’s 50% increased trunk space or emphasized the line’s green credentials. Instead, the campaign focused on a grammatical debate over the plural of “Prius.”
The idea came about because there will now be a few different Prius models on the road, but it’s also an acknowledgment that after 10 years, most people know only basic facts about the Prius. “We really wanted to tap into the passion and enthusiasm of Prius owners,” says Kimberley Gardiner, national digital, marketing and social media manager for Toyota, who adds that the debate over the correct plural of Prius (Latin for “first”) is actually a topic that has come up among such owners.
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