From awareness to leads: How YouTube drove results for Toyota in Indonesia

Dennis Handoko / August 2019

For years, Toyota saw YouTube as an awareness platform only and relied on offline channels to generate leads in Indonesia. Here, Dennis Handoko, chief operating officer at EMC Group, Toyota’s media agency, explains how TrueView for Action Lead Form Ads helped the brand generate more verifiable leads on digital.

As a popular global car brand, Toyota has plenty of experience using digital to reach potential customers. But in emerging markets like Indonesia, the brand has relied on offline channels such as trade shows, conventions, and mall kiosks to generate leads for its sales teams to follow up on. When Toyota found that these offline initiatives weren’t driving enough leads to justify the money and manpower it was putting behind them, as Toyota’s media agency, we knew that we had to rethink our client’s strategy.

As part of a campaign for its newly launched C-HR Hybrid vehicle in Indonesia, Toyota turned to digital to encourage test drives and sales. They tried different platforms, but after these failed to produce enough verifiable leads, the brand was open to trying something new.

Reaching auto enthusiasts with TrueView for Action Lead Form Ads

At EMC Group, a verifiable lead is defined as a working phone number the brand’s sales team is able to use to follow up with a potential customer. While the display ads Toyota was running on other digital channels generated more than 20,000 leads per month, many of the leads were not verifiable. Given the number of unusable leads, the $5 cost per lead seemed very high. Dissatisfied with the results of these digital campaigns and intrigued by YouTube’s audience solutions, Toyota decided to launch its first TrueView for action campaign.

Toyota served a TrueView for Action Lead Form Ad featuring Rio Haryanto, a popular Formula One driver, to relevant affinity audiences.

TrueView for action campaigns help drive leads and conversions by adding prominent calls to action, headline text overlays, and an end screen to video ads. Toyota used a beta format called TrueView for Action Lead Form Ads to encourage viewers to provide their name, email, phone number, and zip code via an inline submission form. The skippable TrueView ad featured Rio Haryanto, a popular Formula One driver, and copy that helped subtly marry the video’s content to the call to action by emphasizing the car’s versatility.


To make sure it was reaching users who were most interested in learning more about the new car and therefore more likely to fill out the form, Toyota served the ad to affinity audiences like auto enthusiasts who had previously watched relevant content such as auto reviews. The brand also advertised within news and “success under 30” videos to reach entrepreneurs and other business professionals who watch YouTube for personal growth and to become more successful.

YouTube generates more verifiable leads for Toyota

In less than three weeks, the campaign generated more than 390,000 views and more than 3.3 million impressions. With a 9% conversion rate, the TrueView for Action Lead Form Ads generated more than 40,000 verifiable leads at a $0.1 cost per lead — 50X lower than other digital campaigns. In the end, the results proved to Toyota that YouTube was more than an awareness platform — it could actually drive lower-funnel action.


Leads are extremely valuable in the auto industry. We’ve run digital campaigns with Toyota before, but never with results this high. At EMC, we believe YouTube drives results by bringing us closer to the people who want to buy our clients’ products.

3 learnings from creative teams who tackled audience-tailored video ads