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Creating “The Wave”

The new Toyota Motor Show stand design
Along with the various world and European product premieres we’re bringing along to Geneva next week, we’re also really excited to reveal our brand-new Toyota motor show stand design: “The Wave”.

From Europe to the world

For a few years now, we’ve been using our “Eye” design by Ora-Ito at motor shows across Europe. A quick look at Toyota around the world and we found that each region has their own take on motor show stand designs. It’s a bit inconsistent. So, it makes very good marketing sense to try and come up with a strong, uniform identity where Toyota customers around the world can easily spot Toyota’s stand whether you’re at a motor show in Bangkok or Johannesburg.

You may have seen a concept sketch earlier this month. The stand design is the result of an internal design competition between design agencies in Japan, North America and Europe. We’re really proud to say that the future of Toyota’s motor show identity is a European design.


The brief

Earlier this week, I spoke to Serge Gachot, you might remember him giving a guided video tour of our Paris Motor Show stand last year, to see if we can get a behind the scenes glimpse of how “The Wave” came to be. As head of our Marketing Operations at Toyota Europe, Serge was involved in the process from the very beginning and had some interesting stories to tell. The original brief was simple: the stand must impress and give a sense of a strong Toyota brand identity.

The design must reflect the core values of our brand: “Peace of Mind” and “Waku-Doki” (that sense of excitement which gets your heart beating). It should also be flexible enough to suit the requirements of local markets.


Adaptability is the key

Finally, the new design must be adaptable. Why? Well, sometimes the Toyota stand may be against a wall in the exhibition hall, while at other locations, it may be on an island in the middle of the hall. Major motor shows will require larger stands while smaller events need the opposite. The new design should be adaptable while maintaining the core identity of the Toyota brand image. That was June 2012, and the clock was ticking. 

Under the leadership of Toyota Motor Sales & Marketing Corporation, the marketing side of our mother company in Japan, our three regions briefed their design agencies and prepared to pitch their individual stand design concepts. In Europe, we worked with Déri Design for the design of our concept, and b+s exhibitions for technical feasibility of the design itself.


The solution

What our agencies came up with is based on Japanese origami, the art of paper folding. “The Wave” uses a very advanced and unique three-dimensional architecture. This gives the stand not only its strength and vibrancy but also a sense of warmth and familiarity with its dynamic curves. As a natural element in the oceans, waves are constantly in motion carrying energy. Our new stand portrays this notion of carrying forward our new products and messages to the world, in a confident and dynamic way.

Despite the two other competitor agencies arriving at the design review with different versions of their concepts, we were more than confident enough to bring just “The Wave”. 


Introducing “The Wave”

Because this is a brand-new stand using some complex construction techniques and new materials, the original conservative plan was to launch this design later this year in Frankfurt. Our agency partners buckled down at the end of last year to get the mock-ups and final production done in double quick time to unveil in Geneva instead. Our usual location at the Palexpo is immediately down the stairs and near the entrance, the ideal location to showcase our new stand and with maximum visibility. 
We’ve put together a little animation together as “The Wave” was coming to life at the Palexpo. Enjoy and don’t forget to visit us in Hall 4!