Toyota: Digital
During COVID

Faced with the constraint of a national shutdown and an upcoming Presidential election, Toyota took a creative approach to public affairs advocacy in 2020.

For these efforts, Toyota was awarded the 2021 Public Affairs Council’s Grassroots Innovation Award. These awards, presented at The Advocacy Conference each year, recognize outstanding initiatives that showcase creativity, inclusiveness, innovation, and organizational relevance.


Not knowing when constituents would be back in the halls of Congress or in statehouses, Toyota partnered with LGND to reimagine its lobbying efforts and virtually engage their employee advocates, who they refer to as Policy Drivers.

With a high-stakes presidential election looming, Toyota’s Policy Drivers were eager to hear from their elected officials, receive digestible and informative content, and find innovative ways to generate legislative impact.


LGND and Toyota began by building on a groundbreaking Ninja gamification program to boost engagement by challenging Toyota’s Policy Driver community to unlock higher levels of Ninja status through grassroots advocacy participation. By gamifying participation, and integrating the experience into Toyota’s online advocacy platform Quorum, Toyota saw engagement increase significantly among its Policy Driver community.


Combining original illustration, imagery, design, voiceover, music, and animation, Toyota and LGND produced three highly engaging animated explainer videos that sought to educate and inform key constituents about what was at stake in the 2020 election. Scripted and narrated by Toyota’s own Stephen Ciccone, LGND used typography to fit this entertaining style and emphasize key messaging points and data.

View the videos >

The three videos were viewed a total of more than 7,000 times, with 70% of individuals staying from beginning to end, watching the full 5 minutes of each video. Because of their popularity inside the company, LGND was asked to translate each video into Japanese.


As the pandemic raged on and the date of Toyota’s annual fly-in fast approaching in September of 2020, Toyota decided to embrace the constraint and partnered with LGND to create Virtual Washington Week, culminating in a series of live video discussions with members of Congress, Toyota’s executives, and media.

To house the videos, LGND created a microsite with custom “Race to 2020” branding and interactive tools to engage advocates ahead of, during, and after the virtual event. Our design and development team partnered to create an event microsite that was easily accessible, secure, and hosted all of the content for the virtual event.

With this virtual approach, Toyota was able to engage more advocates than the typical physical fly-in. Virtual Washington Week generated over 8,000 website pageviews, 5,000 sessions, and 4,000 unique visitors in just the first few days.

“Instead of being defined or constrained by this lockdown, we were freed by it. Our partnership with LGND supercharged the innovation of our ideas and brought them to life.”

—Stephen Ciccone, Group Vice President, Toyota Government Affairs