Staff Reporters
Oct 4, 2012

Toyota game makes phone charging 'fun' to promote plug-in hybrid car

TOKYO - Toyota Motor Sales & Marketing, working with Party, has launched a game that seeks to turn consumers' attitudes about charging their phones, and presumably their cars, from "Need to charge" to "Fun to charge".

Toyota game makes phone charging 'fun' to promote plug-in hybrid car

The free game, titled 'Plug-in Championship' and available for iOS and Android phones, invites participants to time the insertion of their charging cable to match an on-screen display—a task for which they receive points that are tallied against other players.

Players also get rewarded with one of several brief video clips meant to "boost up the experience". The somewhat suggestive videos—a rocket launch, an erupting geyser, champagne spurting from a bottle—certainly appear to add (ahem) "excitement" to the mundane task of charging for the people in this somewhat suggestive promotional clip:

How does this help promote the Prius PHV—a vehicle with an advanced lithium battery that allows it to travel for up to 26 km on electricity alone and up to 3,500 km on a tank of petrol in hybrid gasoline/electric mode?

Toyota said the game transforms charging into something more proactive and encourages consumers to associate the act with fun in addition to cost savings and environmental benefits. "Toyota wishes you to experience aspects of 'Fun to charge' with this app virtually," the company said.

And, yes, that's an exploding watermelon.

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