raul.mandru@gmail.com

Challenge: In the past, Toyota’s philanthropic initiatives have often gone unnoticed. The challenge was to raise awareness of the brand’s commitment to donating its engineering know-how to local organizations.

Strategy: In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Toyota once again sent engineers to the Rockaways to optimize the operation of a key food distribution center. “Meals Per Hour” documented the process over several months, inviting local influencers to roll up their sleeves and help the team on the ground, then share their experiences. We also enlisted Supermarché, the directors behind “Catfish,” to create a documentary that would tell the story in an honest and compelling way. For every YouTube hit the video got, Toyota committed to donate a meal to the Food Bank of New York City.

Results: Within 48 hours the documentary was viral, with 100 million earned media impressions, a CNN feature story, a YouTube homepage placement and the No. 1 spot on Reddit. Toyota quadrupled its initial goal of 250K meals and achieved its new 1 million meals goal in less than 30 days.

Awards: Most Contagious Awards - Purpose - Winner (Contagious Magazine) /// Digiday Awards: Best Brand Use of Video for Information

My role: Concept, Creative Direction. In order for this campaign to see the light of day, we went through rounds of presentations with the brand, setting the overall communication tone and strategy and then constructing this particular effort from scratch, from concept to authentic storytelling, influencer marketing and social outreach.

Toyota - Meals Per Hour - Case Study from Raul Mandru on Vimeo.

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Left to right: Sian-Pierre Regis of Swagger NYC, Vera Sweeney of Lady and the Blog, Migdalia Rivera of Latina on a Mission.

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Watch the documentary (and consequently donate a meal)