The latest ‘Waku Doki’ campaign by Toyota is targeted towards the youth. The Japanese phrase which means ‘heart thumping exhalation’ is Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s new face of communication. The brand, in 2010 launched its ‘Toyota promise’ campaign, better known as ‘Toyota Yani Bharosa’ and in 2012 Delhi Auto Expo, it came up with the ‘Harmony in Motion’ campaign. With Toyota now focusing on mass segment sales through its Etios and Liva and crossing the 1 lakh sales for the same, it is definitely having its ‘Waku Doki’ moment, but is the campaign in sync with the various other models of automobiles that Toyota offers?
Explaining the objective of the initiative, Sandeep Singh, Deputy Managing Director -Marketing, Toyota Kirloskar Motors, says, “The campaign is youth oriented because today’s youth don’t only look for good looks and pricing but also good qualities which Toyota is offering. Virat Kohli has been taken as the face for the campaign as he is an upcoming young sportsperson that the young generation can connect with. If you speak to any Toyota customer today, they will talk about the brand’s overall experience, which is good. This is what we want to convey to the larger masses, that our customer touch points and experience is different from other dealerships.”
Singh also states that since the company sold more than a lakh Etios and Liva cars, it was the right time to launch the ‘Waku Doki’ campaign that is targeted towards the masses.
The Indian population is very young and the average age is becoming younger, constituting about 56-57 per cent of the total population, who are on a constant look out for fun brands. Plus, there are three things that are needed for a company to grow in India; these are communication and advertising, product design and dealer network. Will Waku Doki stir the fun quotient among the TG?
According to Adil Jal Darukhanawala, Editor in Chief, ZigWheels, “It’s a logical thing to do; Toyota has developed its image as that of a quality conscious car brand and then made it fun oriented, which caters to the larger spectrum of people. With this advertisement Toyota not only targets the serious but also those who want to have fun. The concept of ‘Waku Doki’ that revolves around the young and peppy is the new philosophy that is being projected to the masses.”
Even though Toyota as a brand is established internationally, in India the structure is becoming confusing. The consumers will always turn towards quality and brand value so Toyota needs to fit its other products into this new positioning.
Darukhanwala also adds, “The advertisement shows Etios and Liva, both the cars are the starting offering from Toyota in the A and B segment , they are light and economically affordable cars that are ‘fun’ to drive. I think they are projecting the pleasure of driving that is not focused at a specific target but also those who love driving, even a 60 year old person can enjoy driving and can have his moments, and the ‘Waku Doki’ conceptualises the very same enjoyment. Therefore the change in positioning will be fit for the brand and not only for the Liva and Etios but for all the other car offerings from Toyota.”
However some industry experts feel that Toyota is losing out on its core ambition. “What has gone wrong for Toyota is that, both Etios and Liva are cost effective cars, they cater to the masses but the population is thought as value driven. Toyota has stood for quality and reliability in the past which is getting lost in the race to capture the market. The ambition part is getting lost. With the ‘Waku Doki’ advertisement Toyota is taking a different direction in marketing its product because it does not only have offerings for the mass segment but also for other segments. Where does Fortuner or Innova fit into the realm of ‘Waku Doki’?” asks a senior executive from a leading automobile brand.
Toyota has also launched a contest for the consumers as most were unable to figure out the meaning of ‘Waku Doki’. The contest entails consumers to guess the meaning of the phrase and upload their own experience with Toyota. With the campaign doing rounds in various platforms such as television and print, Toyota thinks it will help capture the young consumers which constitute majority of prospective car buyers in the country.