In the beginning, there was just one Prius, Toyota’s little hybrid gas/electric people mover that has become synonymous with anything eco-friendly.
Over the years, Toyota added different versions, attempting to capitalize on the popularity of the name by making a sort of sub-brand out of Prius.
Even though we just talked about Toyota a couple of weeks ago, the random number generator says we’ll look at more Toyota sites again today, with a pair of ads touting the Prius.
First up is this older ad from August 2000, back when we had the first generation Prius sedan (and before the styling became overly fussy).
I particularly like the little diagram in the lower right-hand corner of the ad which simplifies the internal workings of a hybrid system to just a few icons and lines. Nicely clever and appropriate for this new technology that was just becoming mainstream.
Over in the lower left-hand corner, we are treated to a website:
Like the Toyota site sections we saw previously, this one is nice and simple at just Toyota.com/Prius. And, like those other examples, this site promotes a car that Toyota still builds.
Perhaps that’s why today it’s no surprise that Toyota.com/Prius takes us here:
As expected, Toyota.com/Prius works just fine. It’s a simple and appropriate site section and it’s nice to see that Toyota hasn’t mucked it up.
Our other ad today spotlights the then-growing family of Prius cars:
In addition to the typical average Prius that we all think about, Toyota also built a more wagon-like Prius V and the smaller Prius C. And, yes, there’s a plug-in version of the Prius, too, but it shares the same body as the standard car so I don’t know if it really qualifies as a different model.
Anyway, buried deep in the lower left-hand corner of the ad is this website reference:
Okay, that site section isn’t too bad. It’s not as concise as simply /Prius, but it’s not terrible either. These days, however, what has become of Toyota.com/PriusFamily?
Well, that’s a little unexpected but not terrible. What we see these days at Toyota.com/PriusFamily is a listing of all of Toyota’s hybrid cars. (Side note: the site returns a Page Not Found error if you actually use the uppercase letters in /PriusFamily — it only works all lowercase as /priusfamily, but whatever.)
It should also be noted that the site section is no longer /PriusFamily and instead, redirects to /Hybrid-Cars. This makes sense, of course, as Toyota no longer makes the Prius V or the Prius C, so there really is no Prius family anymore. We’re back down to only one Prius, plus the Prius Prime, which is a plug-in version of the regular car and has slightly different styling.
But instead of letting the site section die off, Toyota is smartly redirecting it to something useful and appropriate. Now that’s some efficient web strategy.