Canadian blog for ‘sled heads’ finds its way to Chindia

Yamaha Sled Talk Blog launched this month to engage domestic customers, but it's already the talk of the global blogosphere.

Thousands of postings have been flooding into Yamaha Motor Canada’s Toronto HQ since its soft launch earlier this month of Yamaha Sled Talk Blog to support the release of its 2008 snowmobile models (target demo: men 18-34). The blog – a first for Yamaha and quite likely its entire Canadian market segment – was designed as a resource for, and a means to directly engage, what popular snowmobile parlance calls ‘sled heads.’

But what’s surprising blog host Chris Reid, Yamaha’s senior product and research manager, is how far the sledding cyberword travels. He tells MiC that people are posting responses from as far away as India, ‘which didn’t have such great sledding conditions last time I was there.’ Reid reports the ‘enthusiastic feedback’ indicates the blog is definitely serving its original purpose, and has netted worldwide interest in Yamaha’s vehicles.

‘One post went viral and we got hits from as far away as Bosnia, Russia and China. Some postings, I don’t even know what language they were in.’ The only downside? Rather than Yamaha’s professionally produced video of its new snowmobiles, Reid says the clip that’s ‘getting hijacked the most and posted to forums is just an informal session on a lake when we did some impromptu drag races between a couple of UK models. Go figure.’

Yamaha, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, developed its Sled Talk blog with the Dundas, Ont.-based Social Media Group. Agency partner Maggie K. Fox tells MiC that SMG ‘is Canada’s first full-service agency devoted exclusively to helping companies use social media tools and platforms.’