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Source: Marketing Daily article by Karl Greenberg

Toyota is changing its tagline. Gone is the eight-year-old "Moving Forward." The Torrance, Calif.-based Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. is now firing up "Let's Go Places." The official take is that the new name is intended to reflect Toyota's "commitment to more exciting products and the promise that customers are invited to take part in shaping Toyota's future." It is also intended to reflect the personal vision of Akio Toyoda, who has been president of Toyota Motor Corporation for the past three years.

"He's definitely bringing new thinking," says Russ Koble, Toyota advertising manager. "We have been known for quality and reliability for a long time, but he's pushing the organization to put some fun and excitement into what we stand for; that was the impetus."

Koble explains to Marketing Daily that the tag is meant to embody a less formal notion that the company is heading in new, more emotionally evocative directions where products and technology are concerned, and the idea that the individual is going places as well. "There's a lot of good things coming and the colloquial feel is something we believe in as a company. We are trying to make sure that whatever we do, we are focused on [customers] having a great experience with us."

While the just slightly whimsical -- and Seussical -- "Let's Go Places" gets going today, the official debut with big media support won't be until Dec. 31 in support of the automaker's redesigned full-sized sedan, Avalon. Koble says that leading up to Avalon, the company will use the new tag in some tactical and digital efforts.

"Moving Forward," which was preceded by the tag "Get the Feeling," launched in 2004 with ads comprising vignettes about key life moments. No hint yet whether the company will take a similar approach with creative introducing the new tag.

The company says the new "Let's Go Places" line evolved from market research done by AOR Saatchi & Saatchi, corporate AOR Dentsu America, Toyota's diversity agencies Conill and Burrell plus Grieco research and Intertrend. And any similarity of the new Toyota tag to Dr. Seuss' "Oh, the Places We'll Go!" (less a kids' book than a staple of self-improvement and life-change reading lists) is partly coincidental: Koble says that book definitely came to mind when the company and its agencies were mulling a new thematic direction.

"Our strategy was to come up with a line to help us move from focusing solely on quality, dependability and reliability, but also embrace excitement and optimism. And for those ideas, that book is very powerful. I did look at it and did research on it; a lot of high school seniors are given that book because it has strong life lessons, but it's also about hard work and finding new ways to do things. And we do want this new line to embody that -- this sense of optimism about what's over the horizon."