Today we throw a softball at Toyota with six ads featuring six different site sections. What could possibly go wrong?
Site sections, of course, are the sections within a given domain. For example, we have this relatively recent ad for the Toyota Mirai (and, by far, the newest ad in this group):
The ad above is one of the most recent in my collection, coming to us from a May 2017 magazine. Some people might mistaken the Mirai for a Prius, but mechanically they are very different as the Mirai features a fuel-cell powertrain.
Few automakers have jumped on the fuel cell bandwagon, but Toyota is one of them. And if you want to learn more about this cutting-edge car, you can go to Toyota.com/Mirai:
This is a perfect example of a site section. The main domain, Toyota.com, is there, followed by a word (or small phrase) after the /, in this case, the name of the car, Mirai. These types of site sections are easy to control as they don’t require the expenditure of maintaining the primary domain.
In today’s post, we’ll look at six of these site sections from Toyota. Surely, they are all still valid, yes?
Well, let’s start with that /Mirai example. Today Toyota.com/Mirai takes us here:
Excellent! Yes! That makes sense. Now, granted, the ad is only a few years old. But it’s nice to see that the site section still lives on with relevant information about one of Toyota’s most technologically advanced cars.
We’ll take these Toyota URLs alphabetically. So next, after the Mirai, is this ad for the Toyota Rav4:
Cute. You can drive your Rav4 (RAV4?) through a maze of city streets. Kinda like any other car, I suppose.
But that’s not the point. What we care about is this little tidbit in the text in the lower left:
Now, like the Mirai previously, Toyota still makes the Rav4. So, surely, Toyota.com/Rav4 is still in use, yes?
Oh! Hey! Look at that! Toyota.com/Rav4 is still relevant. The little SUV has been redesigned since that ad appeared, but it’s nice to see the site section is still alive and well.
Two for two. This is looking pretty good for Toyota.
Next up, we get this ad for the Toyota Sequoia, one of the few common words in the English language with four consecutive vowels:
Okay. I don’t really understand this ad. The big hero text at the top says “The perfect day isn’t always up to the weather.” But then they show some guys playing, apparently, bicycle polo. Looks like pretty great weather to me. Romping through a snowy mountain side, or splashing around in a rainy field — that would be a weather-independent perfect day. But if you ask me, the dudes on those bikes have it pretty easy on their clear sunny day.
Anyway, the important thing here is the website. Twice in this ad we see references to Toyota.com/Sequoia:
This is why these URLs are softball questions for Toyota. The company still makes the big Sequoia SUV. So, surely Toyota.com/Sequoia is still valid, yes?
And it is! Again, this makes sense. It’s a clean and simple site section for a car that Toyota still makes. Toyota would be foolish for not maintaining Toyota.com/Sequoia.
Now onto one of my favorite Toyotas, the Tacoma pickup truck, which is sometimes referred to as the Taco:
I’ve given up trying to figure out what’s going on with this ad. Is that guy trying to make a Tacoma? Or weld something onto it? Or tear it apart? I don’t know.
What I do know is that there’s a website tucked into the text in the upper right:
Though the text wraps around, it’s clear that Toyota is advertising Toyota.com/Tacoma. And, yes, this is another current model in the Toyota lineup. So what happens when you try to go to Toyota.com/Tacoma some 14 years after the ad was published:
This is excellent! Again, maybe it’s a bit easy because Toyota still makes the Tacoma. But we’ve seen other examples of automakers changing their site sections just enough to cause the old URLs to break. Toyota is avoiding that fate, and that’s a good thing.
Moving on, we get to Toyota’s full-size pick-up truck, the Tundra:
That’s a pretty busy-looking ad. But I suppose it gets the point across. You can do all these amazing creative and adventurous things if you only buy a Toyota Tundra.
Fine. What about the website?
Nestled in the lower left-hand corner is the reference to Toyota.com/Tundra. Again, this should be easy as Toyota still makes the Tundra (in fact, the Tundra hasn’t changed much since this ad appeared in 2014).
So here’s what we get today:
Sweet! Once again, Toyota is showing decent web management by keeping their site sections consistent. Granted, these are all still current models, so it shouldn’t be that hard. But it’s still nice to see these sites still in action.
Our final trip through Toyotaland takes us to the Sienna minivan, one of the few new minivans still sold in the United States.
The ad above was plucked from an April 2010 magazine and has a lot of green. Personally, I like the simple layout. I find it more attractive and inviting then lots of clutter, but maybe that’s just me.
Using yellow font on a light green background may not be the most readable design choice but it doesn’t stop us from seeing the URL that we came here for:
Like the others we’ve seen today, Toyota is keeping its site sections simple and straight-forward, this time advertising Toyota.com/Sienna.
And these days, typing in that URL takes us here:
By now, we should all give a big shout out to Toyota. All six of the URL examples we’ve seen today are still alive and still relevant. That’s not easy for ads that span over a decade in some cases.
Well done, Toyota. It seems carmakers can get things right some times after all.