Lexus Moves Into Movies With Weinstein Company
Lexus and the Weinstein Company are producing five short films as part of a series, “Life is Amazing.” The short films -- three to six minutes long -- are by auteurs from the U.S., Europe, Asia-Pacific, China and Japan. Each were chosen by Harvey Weinstein and Weinstein Company COO David Glasser, in partnership with Lexus.
Lexus and the Weinstein Company held a pre-Oscars preview party showing two of the Lexus Short Films: U.S. director Justin Tipping’s "Swimming in Air" and Spanish director Cristina Molino’s "Beyond Memories." The event was held at the Directors’ Guild of America in Los Angeles on Feb. 21.
Brian Bolain, Lexus' national manager of marketing strategy, tells Marketing Daily that the program reflects a global effort both to speak to different cultures and add some emotion to the brand's traditional appeal. "We are in over 80 countries so we have been looking for ways to speak more globally," he says. "We have looking for ways to transcend cultural differences, and at the same time something that aligns Lexus more with the creative world."
He says Lexus had already been working with Weinstein Company since last year when the company sponsored an episode of the producer's "Project Runway" and then became the Official Automaker for the Weinstein organization. "It was natural to connect the dots from there," says Bolain.
Currently the hub for the campaign, www.LexusShortFilms.com, hosts making-of videos for some of the films, and director profiles. Bolain says the plan is to first show them in different venues around the world, and then put the films themselves on the site, and that the company is still drawing up the when-and-wheres of the film debuts. Lexus will definitely be in Cannes in May, "where we may submit the films for entry," he says.
As for promoting the films, the automaker will focus on social media. "We have a big Twitter and Facebook fan base, but also we get about 20 million visitors per year on lexus.com and have the ability to rotate promotions there."
Three was no mandate to put the vehicles in the films, just that the directors stick with the "Life is Amazing" theme. And, says Bolain, the films hint at the kinds of projects Lexus will probably pursue henceforth. "We see things that live in more creative space becoming more a part of our DNA."