Commentary

Lexus, Land Rover Unveil New Campaigns

It’s the battle of the luxury automaker marketing campaigns. Lexus and Land Rover both broke big campaigns this week. If it were a cage match, who would be the winner? Read on. 

Lexus is launching what it is calling a “pivotal” campaign for its new 2018 Lexus LC 500. The model was originally a concept vehicle, which pushed the envelope since they rarely get built. However, Lexus stunned even the most jaded among auto writers when the LC debuted in 2016 as a production model. Now, the LC 500 pushes the envelope even further in a totally badass way. 

The campaign continues the “Experience Amazing” theme and once again features the distinctive voiceover of Minnie Driver. Interestingly, the press release fails to mention Driver, which is weird since the automaker made a pretty big deal of it when they inked the deal with her for the Super Bowl spot, “Man and Machine.”

The campaign targets “affluent, adventurous consumers with high expectations.” They also have some cash to spend, obviously, since Lexus vehicles don’t come cheap. The LC 500 has a base price of $92,000, but as the buff books point out, with options it’s likely to be closer to six figures. 

Feats of Amazing,” a general market TV spot, broke Tuesday. It dramatizes the LC’s many engineering marvels, showing a sexy red coupe tearing through a warehouse. It was created by Team One.

The campaign also includes multicultural elements targeted to black, Asian and Hispanic audiences. The multicultural spot, “Balanced Spirit,” created by Walton Isaacson features a voiceover by actor Blair Underwood. It features the urgent beats of hip-hop artist Anderson Paak, who spells his name with a period before it — .Paak. (That’s 20 seconds of my life I won’t get back because I had to look it up to make sure it wasn’t a typo in the press release.) IW Group created content for the Asian market (using footage from “Feats of Amazing”).

On the other side of the mat, we have Land Rover, which is launching a campaign to highlight the Discovery’s arrival in North America. The new vehicle joins the Discovery Sport in the Land Rover lineup, rounding out the Discovery family of vehicles

Ahead of the 35th America’s Cup competition, Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing sailing team appear in new 30-second “Serenity in the Storm.”

The classical song ‘The Blue Danube Waltz’ highlights the contrast of the harsh desert storm against the calm interior of the new Discovery. It’s a fun and playful spot, and it becomes even more humorous when the sailing team piles into the vehicle on their way to the marina. There’s a shot of them on the boat that then cuts back to the Discovery waiting patiently at the edge of the dock.

The creative agency is Spark44 and the media agency is Mindshare and the spot broke April 24. There is no multi-cultural aspect to the campaign. 

Aimed at an upscale active consumer, the 2017 Land Rover Discovery arrives at dealerships this month with a base price of $49,990. It seats up to seven “full-sized” adults, according to the press release. (Insert your own joke here about non-full-size adults.)

So which campaign is better? They are very different vehicles geared toward different audiences, albeit both affluent. I’m leaning toward the Land Rover spot because it has a touch of humor and as a red-blooded female, it’s hard to argue with the use of the entire good-looking sailing team. What do you think? 

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