Japan

Advertising and Publicity

1935-1945

Prewar Campaigns: Launch Events and Award Contests

By entering the automobile manufacturing business, Toyota Automatic Loom Works, Ltd. (now called Toyota Industries Corporation) was the first to respond to the Law Concerning the Manufacture of Motor Vehicles, a national law by the Japanese Ministry of Commerce and Industry enacted in 1936 that established business licensing rules for automobile manufacturers with the goal of promoting Japanese industry and national defense.

Unveiling of the G1 truck

In 1935, Toyota Automatic Loom Works held an announcement event for its G1 truck at the Tokyo Automobile Hotel Shibaura Garage in Tokyo. The truck had finished the prototyping process and was ready to undergo testing for compatibility with the new law.

The G1 Truck was launched just two years before the founding of Toyota Motor Co., Ltd.

Following the announcement event, Toyota Automatic Loom Works held an 'Exhibition Commemorating the Completion of Japan-made Toyoda cars for the general public' at the Tokyo Prefecture Commerce & Industry Encouragement Building in Marunouchi in September 1936.

The exhibition showcased the company's technical capabilities with a line of 15 vehicles, including trucks and the AA passenger car, which took center stage.

In an auspicious sign of things to come, news that the company was given approval to manufacture automobiles under the Law Concerning the Manufacture of Motor Vehicles coincidentally arrived on the first day of the exhibition.

Prior to the event, the Automobile Department of Toyota Automatic Loom Works had placed classifieds in major newspapers around Japan to solicit designs for a Toyoda logo, with awards going to the best designs. nearly 30,000 designs were submitted -a rare feat at the time- with some coming from as far away as the far reaches of Asia. Thus was born the Toyota logo of today.

Other promotional campaigns indicative of the time included a public contest to compose a song for an automobile convoy, a contest to design the name, body color, and mascot for a mid-sized passenger car in commemoration of the 2,600-year anniversary of the first Japanese emperor's reign (1939), and a travelling screening of the movie, 'How Toyota Cars are Built' (1938). Efforts to instill in the Japanese public an understanding of and an appreciation for automobiles have continued since.

Year
Month
Events
1935
November
Toyoda trucks unveiled; Five trucks using the same chassis are shown, including the G1 truck
1936
January
Publicity efforts through printed media begin with the launch of motor magazine 'Ryusenkei' (later called Motor Age)
July

The Toyota logo selected from proposals submitted by the public

Toyoda logo design contest announced; Some 27,000 entries received, with 100 yen awarded to the 1st place winner;Toyota logo registered as a trademark in 1937
September
Auto show featuring 15 vehicles, including the AA sedan, trucks, and special models, held at the Tokyo Prefecture Commerce and Industry Encouragement Building in Marunouchi
1939
January
Contest announced to compose song lyrics for a vehicle procession held to celebrate the release of the new GB truck ; Some 5,000 entries received, with 500 yen awarded to the winner
November

The AE sedan (Shin-Nihon-Go)

Contest announced to design the name, mascot, and body color of the AE sedan to celebrate the 2,600-year anniversary of the first Japanese emperor's reign ; Entries total 600,000
1940
July
Call for entries from elementary and middle school children to make model automobiles ; Some 4,700 entries received

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