Thursday, November 1, 2012
@TeamOneUsa and @Lexus Pursues Hipper Crowd
Lexus is on to the next phase of its big makeover with an ad campaign touting its newly redesigned Lexus LS sedan.
Like the car itself, the campaign, which includes three television commercials and a major social media push, is a huge departure for the conservative company. The ads have a decidedly hip vibe and aim to associate the brand and the LS sedan with a lavish, cool lifestyle.
“Flashbulbs,” one of the 30-second commercials that kicked off the campaign this week, shows snapshots of a day in the life of an affluent couple. Indie-rock style music plays throughout the spot, which opens with a garage door lifting to reveal a silver LS inside. The car zooms down the driveway with engine snarling.
The next shot is of a high-end fashion show, with the couple, who appear to be in their late 30s or early 40s, sitting on the front row. A series of quicker cuts follow: driving on a winding road; passports getting stamped; the smiling couple in sunglasses, throwing expensive-looking bags over their shoulder as they get off a private plane; listening to a live band at a nightclub; pulling up to a red-carpet event with paparazzi.
“Some day, life will flash before your eyes. Make it worth watching,” a male voice says. “The new 2013 Lexus LS an entirely new pursuit.”
Another commercial, titled “Paddle Shifters,” focuses on the Lexus LS F Sport, which is a sporty new variant of the LS that dials up the performance further on this large and formerly staid luxury sedan. The third spot, titled “Everything,” targets the African-American audience. All three follow the same cadence of quick shots showing cool people in the trappings of a luxurious and fun-filled life.
The commercials are a far cry from Lexus’ previous ads, which included more subdued subject matter, like stacking champagne glasses on the hood of an LS sedan and revving the engine without disturbing them to show how smooth it operates.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the new marketing initiative involves creating custom experiences around food, fashion, entertainment and travel, all of which have a significant social media component. The intent is to tie Lexus into the idea of living a truly affluent lifestyle with rich experiences.
Lexus has partnered with Travel + Leisure magazine to create sponsored editorial content called “100 Places to Eat Like a Local.” This will include print, digital and broadcast pieces focused on finding the best food off the beaten path. Consumers can even submit reviews, photos and videos highlighting their favorite local spots, which could become part of the featured content. The final list of 100 locales will appear in the April 2013 issue of Travel + Leisure.
The fashion component includes a sponsorship of GQ magazine’s “Men of the Year,” including a three-page spread in the magazine, digital ads on the website and a presence at associated events.
On the entertainment front, Lexus is partnering with cable network USA to weave Lexus vehicles into the storyline of the series “Suits.” An interactive component will get fans of the show involved through interactive games, videos, Facebook and Twitter posts, and a season finale live chat session.
The travel component offers the opportunity for a Conde Nast Traveler reader to win a trip and document the experiences on social media.
Besides GQ, print ads will run in lifestyle and luxury publications including Architectural Digest, Black Card Magazine, DuJour and Wired. Billboards will appear in New York City’s Times Square and Washington D.C. Other out-of-home ads will target business, corporate and private jet travelers with placements in executive lounges and private airports.
The television spots will air during pro and college football games and NCAA basketball. They also will be seen on 25 cable networks, including CNN, TNT and ESPN.
The campaign is by TeamOne, of El Segundo, Calif.
Lexus revamped the LS, its largest sedan, for 2013, giving it much more aggressive styling and making it more fun to drive. The changes are substantial and are meant to help distance the company from its reputation of building boring cars. Lexus unveiled the redesigned LS luxury sedan at a photography exhibit in San Francisco, called “Lexus Laws of Attraction.” It featured images, taken by fashion photographer Ellen von Unwerth, of famous couples posing with LS sedans. Like the new ad campaign, the event was intended to help hip up the brand.