Lexus has a new ad campaign for the 2013 Lexus GS that is borne on the wings of what Lexus says is among its largest-ever media buys. It carries a new message for Lexus -- one that focuses on technology and performance, and moves away from what for years had been a positioning around perfection of engineering, fit and finish, which is the price of entry for just about everyone these days.
The campaign, via El Segundo, Calif.-based TeamOne, also puts the focus on design. Said Brian Smith, VP marketing for the Torrance, Calif.-based automaker, in a release on the campaign, “This vehicle has come farther, faster than any other vehicle we've developed, and is the first to wear the new design face of Lexus. With the GS, we’re redefining our place in the industry, as well as in drivers’ minds."
In addition to four TV spots that carry a "No going back" theme, there are also unique print elements, partnerships with various publishers, including Pandora, and a big lifestyle tie-in. And, of course, the campaign kicked off during the Super Bowl where Lexus had its first ad ever, although I've been told that the brand actually advertised during the Super Bowl in the ’80s. I’ll get back to you on that.
The campaign shows various (except for those things owned and cherished by perfectionistas and Luddites) virtually defunct technologies. In one spot, objects from le monde antique such as a record turntable, a phone booth, and typewriter are literally pulled down the dark road of existence into the past by the nefarious forces of obsolescence.
Among the objects getting sucked into oblivion is a GS -- until, that is, it ramps up the torque and charges forward, swerving around objects zooming toward it. The new ads showcase such in-car tech as Lexus’ Enform app suite, which uses an armrest toggle to shift from application to application displayed on the console. Another spot touts the car's Night Vision System and Blind Spot Monitor. The campaign includes a multicultural spot called “Earn It” that will run nationally on select cable networks, per the automaker.
Lexus says the broadcast spots began Feb. 6 during prime time, late-night, cable programs, network and cable sports, and spot TV. Lexus is also doing multichannel advertising with NHL and NCAA March Madness. The spots are also online.
We're just getting started here. There's also a print partnership with Wired that uses something called NFC (near field communication). Lexus says that this bit of tech wizardry showcases Enform to tech enthusiasts who read Wired, and who therefore probably have the latest smartphone. What happens is that when readers put their smartphone on the ad, they can view the Enform mobile Web site. Other print ads will run in Automobile, Esquire and Robb Report, while out-of-home includes full-motion video boards at DC Gallery Place and new digital boards in New York City’s Times Square. In addition, the Super Bowl “Beast” ad will run in 700 movie theaters in more than 150 markets, per Lexus.
Lexus is also doing a separate collaboration with JustLuxe that centers on content around upscale dining. The Lexus-branded section allows readers to go to the Open Table app to make reservations. And the automaker is launching a GS branded music station on Pandora whose thematic focus is on "artists, songs and albums that have revolutionized the music industry."
We done yet? No, Lexus is also partnering with NBC Universal to "Shazam" three programs during certain episodes. Viewers who watch “The Soup” on E!, “Psych” on USA, and “Being Human” on SyFy can get extended programming content, as well as GS video and photo galleries via their mobile devices.
And finally, the automaker says it is doing its biggest-ever post-game program including YouTube mobile and MSN and ESPN home page takeovers, and roadblocks on auto and lifestyle sites, as well as mobile and tablet sponsorships. And…that’s all. For now.