Toyota Glass of Water Campaign

Extract from

Reducing fuel consumption one drop at a time

Creating a movement and encouraging a shift to eco-conscious consumer habits is no small aim for a brand, and to help with Toyota‘s lofty ambition of a zero-emission future, Saatchi & Saatchi, Sweden has launched a campaign to inspire behaviour change.

As a first step towards this vision, Toyota is aiming to reduce Sweden’s fuel consumption by 10% across all types of car and fuel. Based on the insight that driving with a glass of water on your dashboard prompts a 10-20% drop in the amount of gas you guzzle, Saatchis have built an iPhone app to mimic the trick.

Making use of the phone’s accelerometer, gyrometer and GPS, the app measures how much ‘water’ is spilt and records details of the journey including petrol usage, speed and route. A driver’s first journey running the app is used to set a benchmark against which future progress and fuel savings are measured.

True to the brand’s desire to create a movement that is not restricted to Toyota drivers in Sweden, the app has been built in English and is available globally via the iTunes store.

A glass of water has quickly become the symbol of the campaign, which also included a Facebook group to host discussions and encourage interaction and  an online community at, which allows participants to compare their progress with other members and analyse their own consumption habits.

Per Jaldeborg, head of planning at Saatchi & Saatchi, Stockholm, explains: ‘Toyota’s zero emission vision is big, bold and fantastic. The challenge is that it might be a bit too big, too bold and too fantastic for people to really understand. So we wanted to distill the vision into one single idea that captures its optimism, involvement, responsibility and technical innovation. The way in we started to think of it was to make eco driving cool and engaging. Quite challenging when driving pleasure normally comes from speeding and comfort. Anyway, in order to succeed, our challenge was to involve people in an eco driving movement full of lust joy.’

PR events, mobile media and digital advertising support the strategy, with a long copy print ad launching the campaign – designed very much as a brand positioning rather than to promote a particular Toyota model.

The theme of encouraging positive behavioural change through gaming and point scoring is becoming increasingly established. Just check out this video of professor and game developer Jesse Schell, speaking at the DICE conference back in February, for more thoughts along these lines.


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