About a year and a half ago, Scion launched a new webmagazine called ScionAV. The goal? To engage potential Scion shoppers (i.e. Millennials) on lifestyle topics like music, film, and fashion. It's the way marketing works in the Social Media Age: you don't just talk to customers in showrooms, you talk to them all the time.
Last fall, the Toyota Prius jumped on the same bandwagon with Toyota Prius Projects, which has sponsored a range of initiatives both online and off. The newest Prius Project is called "The Charged Life", which revolves around the Prius Plug-In Hybrid. Here's the scoop:
The Prius Plug-in Hybrid is an innovative vehicle that allows people to do the things they love to do, without having to refuel as often. It has inspired the Charged Life project -- opening windows into the work and lives of culturally relevant people and businesses from interesting fields, such as art, music, technology, film and product design. Each Charged Life subject is provided with a Prius Plug-in for the duration of a short documentary, which showcases the amazing, innovative things they do.
The first "Charged Life" project involves a group of engineers, tinkerers, and makers from Pittsburgh called Deeplocal. Devoted urbanites that they are, the group decided to record the noise of a city -- specifically, Los Angeles -- and turn it into a song. And as you'll see from the clip below, they did just that.
We have two small quibbles, though:
1. The way Deeplocal went about the project seems a little creepy. The group tricked out a number of attache cases using mobile phones as microphones, then left the cases unattended in various parts of the city -- on bridges, near the airport, and so on. We're not especially paranoid, but as folks living at a persistent Threat Level Orange, the images are kind of disturbing. Frankly, we have to wonder how they got away with all that without being taken in for questioning.
2. What, exactly, the Prius Plug-In Hybrid has to do with Deeplocal's project, we couldn't say. Sure, it helps move the artists around town -- but then, so could a city bus. On ScionAV, Scion often steps out of the way and lets artists do their thing. In this case, it seems like Toyota wants to sneak the Prius into the film, but the car gets left mostly on the cutting room floor. (You know, like the good parts of Gigli.) Perhaps a Director's Cut would clear things up.
If you've got time to kill and are jonesing for a little ambient techno to rock the cubicle this Friday, check Deeplocal's results below. Beneath that is a clip of the second (and considerably more interesting) "Charged Life" project, which gives the Prius more screen time in the service of guerrilla gardening: