Social media, big agency style: ‘You could enter a picture of your cat playing in his kitty litter and win 7 grand’

Regular readers will by now be more than familiar with the great Toyota Yaris social media live pitch.

Fair to say that the various efforts are seeing different degress of success.

And while Saatchi & Saatchi’s effort – a film making competition with the not-entirely-original challenge of making a video featuring the brand – has met with a less than enthusiastic response, there is a silver lining for the agency.  

An email has gone viral in the last few days.

It reads:

From: Rob


Subject: Clever Comp

Hey creative people

I’ve got something that you’ll (or your housemates, brothers, sisters, artistic friends etc will) be nterested in.

It’s a film comp in aide of promoting Toyota Yaris.

“A film comp? I don’t have the time!” you may say, but listen up. So far, NO ONE has entered and it has been open for more than 10 days and closes 1st December. Voting is done on hits and comments so if you’re in first you have a huge advantage. And you don’t have to make an ad, just put a Yaris in somewhere a la the ‘number 8’ or ‘spring’ in Tropfest or something

First prize is $7,000. $3,000 for second and $1,000 for 3rd. At this stage, you could enter a picture of your cat playing in his kitty litter and win 7 grand.

Details are in the attachments. If you win, I’d love an all carbon fibre road bicycle for Christmas.

Cheers y’all.


Happily since that email went out, there’s been a dramatic response. There’s one entry on the site now:


  1. Pete D
    17 Nov 09
    6:46 pm

  2. Shit I don’t have a cat.

  3. Larry
    17 Nov 09
    7:16 pm

  4. yeah nah

  5. iphonic
    17 Nov 09
    7:49 pm

  6. I particularly like how they misspelled ‘Yaris’ in the vid title. At least we know it wasn’t an agency back-up vid. Unless that’s what they WANT us to think….

  7. Tim
    17 Nov 09
    10:38 pm

  8. Love the weird gratuitous crotch shot at the end (or was that aiming for the badge?). Real talent in the editing booth.

  9. pete
    18 Nov 09
    7:49 am

  10. Sorry but this is quite obviously done by the agency, which is fine to show the kind of style they are after but if it wins any of the awards then is really will be a sad state of affairs.

  11. John Grono
    18 Nov 09
    1:27 pm

  12. Wow. I learned something. The windshield washers on a Yaris don’t work properly!

  13. Larry
    18 Nov 09
    1:55 pm

  14. “there’s been a dramatic response”

    “There’s one entry on the site now”

    heh. i like.

  15. Ray
    18 Nov 09
    5:06 pm

  16. APlet
    18 Nov 09
    9:56 pm

  17. @Ray – is this your entry? I Like it

  18. matt
    21 Nov 09
    9:49 pm

  19. Holy dooley.
    I saw this same viral for Honda in my early days on the net around 96 or 97.
    except it was much better done. Not only is this slow, and obviously a seed video to kick things off, but it is also derivative from a ground breaking viral from around 1999 for the Honda ‘joy machine’ HRV
    Now, let me just go and google Honda viral and see what I can find.
    Hold on.. googling..
    Ok, back – took 20 minutes to find it but
    Part of a very famous series of early viral work that began to define the category.
    I laughed in 1999.
    I think maybe I’ll do an entry.

  20. Gary Hayes
    22 Nov 09
    3:20 pm

  21. I think someone somewhere got the words ‘Social Media’ mixed up with ‘Run a Competition for Prize Money’.

    As implied in your title Tim ‘Social Media Big Agency Style’ has nothing to do with community, conversation or engagement. I was running ‘upload a video on this theme’ competitions at the BBC ten years ago – and this is a million miles from effective community engagement.

    Finally publishing the email says so much about the ‘bottom-barrel’ editorial nature of this blog which of course is why it is flailing behind most of the other Australian media blogs C’mon, keep off the wannabe videos and lets have some editorial depth Tim.

  22. Larry
    22 Nov 09
    4:13 pm

  23. you often hear that ‘you learn more from your mistakes than successes’ as a line in advertising … from this toyota have probably learnt a lot which you could argue is a good thing … especially given the financial investments made.

  24. mumbrella
    23 Nov 09
    10:26 am

  25. Hi gary,

    Thanks for your comments – and for the link to your blog which appears to aggregate the local blogs from AdAge’s Power 150.

    I must confess I haven’t paid much attention to the AdAge Power 150 recently, but having taken a look, I notice that Post Rank was introduced a while back as a key metric and we’ve not been ranking on it at all.

    I think that was a technical glitch which I’ve now (I think) fixed.

    So I’m very grateful for you drawing my attention to it so I can fix it. It’ll be interesting to see if that takes us back up the list.


    Tim – Mumbrella

  26. The Accountant
    23 Nov 09
    1:24 pm

  27. Wow you are a bitter camper aren’t you Gary! What the hate towards Mumbrella?

  28. OZC
    23 Nov 09
    1:54 pm

  29. Gary,

    You sound like a lovely man.

  30. Larry
    23 Nov 09
    2:15 pm

  31. Gary you’re smarmy condescending attitude, and self importance reminds me of another blogger. Hang on ….

  32. ms monk
    24 Nov 09
    4:46 pm

  33. Heath
    29 Nov 09
    5:24 pm

  34. Dear Toyota,
    I hope you’ve enjoyed this exercise. You’ve managed to highlight a true channel weakness in one of your fulltime agencies!
    Why would Saatchi’s even play this game?
    ‘Wolfie’ gets consumers to touch.
    ‘SYD vs Melb’ attempts brand ownership of an already estabished rivalry.
    ‘Snob Scrilla’ unique creative, unique product use.
    ‘Clever film Comp’ wins the Dr Pepper award- made an impact in the 90’s but now noone cares at all…

  35. aplet
    30 Nov 09
    8:01 pm

  36. Gary, you have a very narrow definition of social media.

    Sounds like you did some cool work in the 90’s… anything since?


  1. How Saatchi & Saatchi’s Toyota social media disaster unfolded - mUmBRELLA