Seth Stevenson on Scion’s youth-oriented advertising campaign:
According to Ad Age, Scion was the most efficient car advertiser last year, in terms of ad dollars spent per vehicle sold, so they’ve clearly worked out a cost-effective means of reaching the groups they want to reach. Those young buyers—once roped in by an entry-level Scion—might well graduate to corporate cousins Toyota and Lexus somewhere down the line. But Scion, in its current form, is a very low-volume brand with a lot of room to grow. And the fact is, you never know who a goofy-looking car might end up appealing to.
Consider the Honda Element, another modestly priced, boxy wagon. Honda designed the car with young people in mind, labeling it a “dorm room on wheels,” but when the Element hit showrooms the average age of its buyers turned out to be 41. Likewise, the xB—with its generous cabin space, solid engineering, and low sticker price—might, in time, find a fan base among practical-minded car buyers of all ages. Unless Scion succeeds in stiff-arming everyone but the youngsters.
But if Toyota can suceed in luring in the youth demographic, won’t older demographics follow? Or is the whole grup/yupster/kidult/rejuvenile/middlescence thing just so totally yesterday? It seems to me that anything that pretends to be targeting actual youth is probably actually targeting boomers and GenXers who can actually afford to buy stuff.