Lexus is launching a native-ad deal with Thrillist called “The Ignition Project.” The program touts the 2014 model of the Lexus CT compact hybrid wagon that the luxury brand introduced in North America at the 2010 New York auto show, and started selling in 2011.
The campaign, launching this week, involves an interactive “ignition” button on Thrillist sites scaled to desktop, and mobile, plus an app. The content centers on "Spring Must-Do's" in places like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and Miami.
When the button is “pushed,” the reader will be offered up recommendations for adventures in or near their city. The effort runs through the end of the month.
"From a custom-execution perspective, it's typical for what we do but this is also very specific to Lexus’ goals," says Paul Josephsen, Thrillist VP, integrated marketing. "We always like to build custom programs that are endemic to our platforms for advertisers." He tells Marketing Daily that Lexus had told the digital publisher that it wanted to attract more Gen X and Gen Y buyers by generating appeal around emotion, personality and lifestyle.
"So when thinking about that the best way to position, it is in a natural way that speaks to what they expect." He says Thrillist Media Group male-lifestyle titles, comprising online retailer JackThreads; drink and travel brand Thrillist; style and grooming site The Crosby Press; and tech site Supercompressor.com, bring in 18- to 34-year-old consumers.
"Native advertising is really bringing the look and feel and tone of property," he says. "That being said, today with the launch we have their brand assets around all of their content that directs people to Lexus.com. In coming days it will be fully co-branded ad experiences that link you to other content."
Lexus sold 1,290 of the CT cars last month, almost a 30% increase versus the month last year. Full-year sales of the vehicle were up 30% as well.