PHOTOS + MARKETING REPORT: 12th Toyota Dream Car Art Contest

Dream Car Art Exhibits and Public Programs

Below are photos, attachments, and short descriptions of key events that took place to support marketing and awareness for the U.S. presentation of the 12th Toyota Dream Car Art Contest during 2017-2018.

Toyota Motor Sales

An exhibit of Dream Car artworks was installed in the lobby at Toyota Headquarters in Plano, Texas where it remains on display. In addition, nearly 100 framed artworks are being distributed nationwide for display at TFS CSCs, DSSOs, and other offices. Artwork was also on display at Toyota USA Automobile Museum, which closed in the fall of 2017.

Riverside Art Museum‘s Educator Open House

Riverside Art Museum hosted an Educator Open House on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 4-6pm during which teachers participated in art activities, learned about the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest, and saw framed artwork of past contest winners. Complimentary classroom kits (consisting of entry forms and informational flyers) were given to teachers so they could inform their students on how to enter the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.

Houston Art Car Parade’s Teacher Workshop

The nonprofit Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, which produces the annual Houston Art Car Parade now entering its 32nd year, presented a half-day workshop on December 2, 2017 for teachers interested in helping their students enter the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest. The workshop was also aired live on Facebook. It also included an exhibition of framed artwork by past contest winners and a display of real-life art cars from previous parades.

John Elway’s Crown Toyota Dealership in Ontario, California

A new exhibition of 17 artworks by previous U.S. finalists and winners of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest was installed at the dealership on October 20, 2017 under the direction of Shelley Gagnet, Community Relations Director; and Paxton Gagnet, General Manager of John Elway’s Crown Toyota. The dealership has had exhibitions of Dream Car artworks on display since 2015.

The State of the Arts & Economy with Greater Houston Partnership

On October 20, 2017, the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest was promoted during The State of the Arts & Economy in Houston, Texas through an onsite display and event announcements. Over 600 attendees — many of them teachers and administrators from 19 area school districts, including HISD. In Houston alone, the arts generate more than $1 billion in total economic activity and supports nearly 30,000 jobs.

Houston Independent School District (HISD), through its Fine Arts Department, distributed thousands of application forms and classroom submission kits to schools and teachers for distribution to students and parents about the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest. HISD also sent a bimonthly e-blast about the contest to their art teachers. The district is the nation’s 7th largest district, serving 312 square miles with 288 schools; 13,000 teachers (of these, 222 art teachers); and more than 210,000 students.

Dream Car Classroom Kit for Teachers

Ontario-Montclair School District (OMSD) is a K-8 school district in San Bernardino County, California that covers all of Montclair and a large portion of Ontario, serving 21,035 students. OMSD sent over 22,000 application packets (entry forms and informational flyers) to its 32 schools, which were distributed to classrooms for teachers to give to their students for review by their parents.

Plano Independent School District (PISD) distributed entry forms and sent monthly announcements to teachers and principals about the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest during the fall. Based in Collin County, Texas, PISD serves over 55,000 students and employs approximately 6,400 faculty members spread across 65 schools plus 2 special and 4 early education centers.

Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) distributed entry forms and sent monthly announcements to teachers and principals about the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest during the fall. RUSD is comprised of 42,000 students and 3,000 teachers (of these, 210 are grade-level team leads at elementary schools and 24 are art teachers at middle and high schools). This California district has 50 campuses, and of these, 30 are elementary schools; seven are middle schools, five high schools, and eight alternative education schools.

Auto Shows Nationwide

Thousands of informational rack cards about the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest were distributed at 19 U.S. auto shows during September through December 2017: State Fair Texas Auto Show, Orange County Auto Show, Delaware Auto Show, Seattle International Auto Show, Sacramento International Auto Show, Fort Worth Auto Show, San Antonio International Auto & Truck Show, Miami International Auto Show, Central California Auto Show, Tampa Bay International Auto Show, Charlotte International Auto Show, Connecticut International Auto Show, Nashville International Auto Show, Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, San Francisco International Auto Show, Arizona International Auto Show, Central Florida International Auto Show, MT International Auto Show Las Vegas, and Indianapolis Auto Show.

Social Media + Websites

This year marked the first time that a paid advertising campaign was conducted by TFS for the U.S. presentation of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest. During October through December 2017, this pilot program included paid and organic posts targeted to teachers, schools and parents on Twitter ( and on Facebook ( Based on key performance indicators of impressions, engagements, clicks to the contest website, cost per click, and applications submitted and/or classroom kits ordered, this all proved to be successful and will be expanded next year. In addition, like the past three years, TFS also scheduled monthly organic tweets. Approved images through the global Toyota Dream Car Art Contest were made available for art organizations, youth groups, past participants (applicants and their schools), dealerships, and others to post and share, which many did. Last year, TFS also utilized the Toyota Social Publishing Program for dealers, but it was tabled for use until next year. Like-minded organizations across the nation were notified about the contest.

On the Toyota Financial website, a rotating hero banner was on view from October 25, 2017 through January 31, 2018, which was also available on the mobile version.

Customer Statement

Marketing Collateral

Printed and online promotional cards, fliers, entry forms, and stickers were  distributed through multiple channels: from auto shows to schools to educational providers to museums. In addition to the venues described above, these materials were sent to museums and cultural centers who previously hosted Dream Car art exhibitions. Also, 1,000 classroom kits were made available to teachers by request (the availability of these kits was promoted through social media and by invitation to past participating teachers). During the month of September 2017, a promotional ad was placed in 1.7 million Toyota Financial customer statements.

National Judging Event

This year, a total of 1,300 artwork submissions were received during October 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018. Of these, 103 U.S. Semi-Finalists were selected for review by TFS team members online during Monday, February 26, 2018 through Friday, March 2, 2018 and their votes resulted in the selection of 39 U.S. Finalists (13 per age category). On Thursday, March 8, 2018, thirteen (13) national judges (see list below) reviewed the 39 U.S. Finalists, chose their top three (ranked 1 to 3) in each age category, and their votes resulted in the selection of the nine (9) U.S. Winners.

Mike Groff, President and Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Financial Services Americas Region
Pete Carey, Group Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Product, Toyota Financial Services
Karen Ideno, Vice President, Product, Marketing, Brand, Corporate Social Responsibility & Communications, TFS
Cheech Marin, Entertainer, Art Collector and Founder, Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry
Lynn Beckwith, Automotive Journalist, Host, That Car Lady and Co-Host, Auto MOJO Radio – CBS Sports 650AM
Bryan Benedict, Design Manager,  Hot Wheels Diecast, Mattel
Kara Brinley, Vice President & General Manager, Longo Toyota of Prosper
Benito Huerta, Artist, Curator. Writer, Art Professor, University of Texas-Arlington and Director The Gallery at UTA
Suzy Jones, Executive Director, ArtCentre of Plano
Laura Grundler, Artist and Visual Art Coordinator, Plano Independent School District
Margie Johnson Reese, Executive Director, Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture + Arts Management Exec.
Yeongmin Kong, Lead Designer, CALTY Design Research, Inc.
Lynette Wallace, Executive Director, The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, Houston Art Car Parade