Toyota's Spams Twitter in Latest Social Media Campaign

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad

Toyota wasn’t kidding when it called The Camry Effect “one of the most ambitious social media campaigns we’ve ever implemented.”

In the days leading up to the super bowl, Twitter users were spammed by a whole army of Toyota’s verified Twitter accounts. Users who tweeted anything in regards to the big game, especially with hashtags of #Giants, or #Patriots, were sent a reply by one of Toyota’s Camry Effect Accounts, informing that person about the contest. Even unsuspecting Twitter users were spammed; those who never even mentioned the Super Bowl.

Eventually, after many complaints, all but one of the Camry Effect accounts were suspended, and the remaining account was then switched to Private, making last night’s tweets only available to those that Toyota allow.

Later, Kimberley Gardiner, Toyota’s social media manager commented on the situation. “We apologize to anyone in the Twitter-verse who received an unwanted @reply over the past few days. We were excited to share the message of our Camry Effect campaign in a new way and it was never our intention to displease anyone. We’ve certainly learned from this experience and have suspended the accounts effective immediately to avoid any additional issues.”

Toyota is taking the blame, although it’s not entirely clear the automaker was in full control. Toyota employs the services of ad firm Saatchi & Saatchi, which in turn sub-contracts some of its work to social media marketing agency known as American Pop. A representative of American Pop has contacted AutoGuide to distance itself from the campaign, however, with Gipson Bachman, the Director of Digital Strategy commenting that, “our company was
not responsible for the tweets you received from Toyota’s efforts…”

Toyota will be launching a “Shazam Campaign” similar to that of The Camry Effect with the 2013 Lexus GS. The idea is that while watching TV, viewers can use the Shazam app on their mobile phone to gain extra TV content, media on the Lexus GS, and a chance to win “a custom travel package.” Hopefully, there will be less reliance on spamming twitter this time around.

[Souce: TheNextWeb]

Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad

Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.

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 1 comment
  • Peja Peja on Feb 07, 2012

    Online marketing requires some kind of guidelines or standards. Too many times have I been reading an article on a credible site when a large, intrusive flash ad creeps over the text until I close it. And another thing! Playing 30 second advertisements before 15 second video clips? Give me a break. The host site always claims - like Toyota here - that they do not choose the ad that their provider imbeds but then where is the accountability?