For the first time, Lexus is talking to consumers about a new vehicle within the realm of Web gaming. Toyota Motor is promoting the new luxury marque Lexus CT 200h through a partnership and integration in Microsoft's Xbox 360 system and the "Halo:Reach" game.
The car, on sale in early March at the starting price of $29,120, will be featured in the gaming platform's Xbox Live "All-Nighter" this Saturday. The program makes Lexus the sponsor of the all-night gaming marathon for "Halo: Reach," wherein gamers can download Lexus content and enter to win prizes for playing from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m.
Within the Xbox experience, Lexus will have its own destination -- a Lexus-produced program called "Darkcasting," in which actress and comedian Whitney Cummings interviews -- from within the CT 200h -- influencers from art, music, fashion, the culinary world and technology.
Microsoft is giving gamers who play "Halo:Reach" during the night Microsoft Points that are good for games, movies, music downloads and merchandise. To get the points, gamers download the Lexus All-Nighter Gamer Picture and play "Halo: Reach." The longer they play "Halo: Reach," the greater their odds of winning.
"We're looking to stimulate conversation with a new customer for Lexus, for whom gaming is highly engaging and very social," said Dave Nordstrom, Lexus vice president, marketing. "This partnership allows us to be a part of the Xbox community for the first time -- and give a little something back to gamers just for doing what they do best."
The company has also been promoting the car with an ironic "Darker Side of Green" campaign that has included celebrity-packed debates between global warming sirens and skeptics, and social media and emerging technology programs.