Lexus Marketing VP Discusses Google TV Buy

David Nordstrom, Lexus

During the Sunday ABC broadcast of the Oscars, Lexus debuted a new ad push touting its lineup of hybrid vehicles. The company, which has more gas/electric hybrids in its lineup than any other automaker, has done ads honing in on individual hybrid models but this campaign spotlights all four: the RX 400h, GS 450h, LS 600h and HS 250h. The effort presages the fifth such vehicle, the forthcoming CT 200h.

In addition to running in rotation on prime time with a heavy buy on professional and college sports, there's also a buy with Google TV, an auction-based television buying platform. Lexus VP marketing David Nordstrom talks to Marketing Daily about the program.

Q: What are the benefits of the Google TV program?

A: Google TV is 10 times more efficient than network TV, and we like the targetability that it provides in reaching our consumers. [It] offers very specific targeted demographic and psychographic data and can also target programming with established online Google keyword lists. Working with Google TV makes the media-buying process much more streamlined. There is no third-party buying agency/ department needed for negotiating, and inventory is awarded to the highest bidder. Google TV is just one of the many media programs in our overall strategy.



Q: I'm wondering about the campaign as an umbrel0la hybrid effort. It's been a while since Lexus did a hybrid-only push. Why this campaign now?

A: Our hybrid campaign reinforces Lexus' hybrid leadership and demonstrates the brand's creative thinking and technological innovation. With four hybrid vehicles on the road today, and our fifth, the CT 200h recently announced, this is a good time to remind people that Lexus offers an industry-leading five hybrid models.

Q: How important a definer of Lexus' brand equity has hybrid become?

A: While many luxury brands are still lost in the discussion of possibilities in the future of the automobile, Lexus has proven itself as the leader in bringing hybrid technology to the luxury industry. Hybrid and alternative-fuel technology vehicles are the future.

Q: How big a slice of the sales pie do hybrids constitute for the brand?

A: With the addition of the HS 250h to our lineup, we expect hybrid sales to approach 20% of our sales in 2010.

Q: Is this campaign "reflexive" in the sense that, in the face of the avalanche of negative press these days, Lexus vehicles last a long time, and that Lexus "owns" durability? Along the same lines, is this kind of a reminder that while other luxury auto brands are talking quite a bit these days about high-tech innovations, Lexus was there first?

A: We developed the concept for this campaign last fall, months before the recent press coverage. This campaign was designed to coincide with the recent announcement of the CT 200h and remind consumers that, while many luxury brands are still lost in the discussion of possibilities in the future of the automobile, Lexus has and continues to take real action.

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