Automakers, dealers use TikTok to attract car buyers

Hyundai has been producing videos that offer a mix of humor and product. The automaker often lets viewers drive the content it posts, to add a layer of interactivity.

After Hyundai posted a February video showing the various paint options for the Santa Cruz pickup, one viewer asked about the truck’s cooler. Hyundai’s social team took note and posted a video a few days later showing the cooler built into the bed filled with ice and bottled water. The automaker also replied directly to that user’s original comment with a link to the cooler video, which has been one of the channel’s most popular posts with 2.4 million views to date.

Hyundai’s content style on TikTok is energetic with crisp video edits and plenty of the special effects that define the platform.

Hyundai dabbled with one effect called the “green screen nose and mouth” on several silly videos in which the brand spotlighted the importance of ventilated leather seats on hot days, joked about messy kids in their car seats and bemoaned that glove boxes are mainly used for napkins. The videos show a nose and mouth overlayed on the leather driver’s seat, a car seat and glove box, and the dialogue comes from the perspective of those components.

“That actually came from a trend that was happening on TikTok,” Fabian said. “First and foremost, TikTok’s about entertaining, so if I can entertain and then also provide information, that’s the best of both worlds. I keep people’s attention, but I also tell them a little bit more about our product or our brand and it makes them want to engage and share it.”

Toyota began its TikTok channel by running a dance contest that gave three winners a new Corolla Cross utility vehicle.

Dancer Aubrey Fisher, who has more than 2 million TikTok followers and has appeared in Corolla TV ads, initiated the “#CorollaCrossStep Challenge” contest in March with a video on his account asking people to record themselves dancing for a chance to win.

More than 1 million people participated in the monthlong challenge.

Toyota then launched its TikTok channel in July with a video announcing the first-place winner, who danced with Fisher. Two more videos posted soon afterward showed the other winners with their vehicles.

TikTok’s mix of young and diverse consumers aligned well with the demographics Toyota is trying to reach with the Corolla Cross.

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