Lexus Features Influencers In Sport Sedan Campaign

Lexus is featuring people who are committed to their passions as the stars of an effort for the IS sport sedan.

The target IS customer is the luxury automaker’s youngest and “most fiercely authentic,” said Lisa Materazzo, former vice president of Lexus marketing, who took over as head of Toyota division marketing on Jan. 4.  

Rather than casting actors, the campaign features eight micro-influencers.

Names” moves quickly through people from different walks of life who introduce themselves by the names they’ve earned, be it sneakerhead, gamer or audiophile. “Vanity Plates”demonstrates just how far these enthusiasts will go to show off the obsessions that define them. Both spots are from Lexus AOR Team One. 



Lexus worked with a casting company to identify and select micro-influencers that epitomize going “all in” on the things they love – be it fashion, music or food. Once identified, there were auditions to select the final cast of influencers for each role.

Those who were chosen are “the ultimate expression of someone passionate about their interest,” Materazzo tells Marketing Daily. “They live and breathe it. They’re defined by it.”

For the commercials, the influencers didn’t need to act, she says.

“They just needed to be themselves,” Materazzo says. “The influencers not only brought authenticity to the campaign, they’re also relevant to the IS customer, who engages with social media to a much larger degree than most.”

The influencers are new to the brand, except for gearhead Jack Hawksworth, who is currently a driver with Lexus Racing. In addition to starring in the spots, they’re also featured in print, digital, and social (paid and organic). Several influencers from the spots will be featured in media partnerships discussing how they’ve gone all-in on their passions.

The “All In” campaign was inspired by the customer mindset, Materazzo says. 

“In learning about this customer, we discovered they love nothing more than going down a rabbit hole of content about their passion,” she says. “With this campaign, we are going both broad and deep with short- and long-form content.”

The commercials establish the connection between Lexus going “all in” on designing the new IS as a pure sports sedan and customers going “all in” on what they love, she says.

“Where the commercials let us go broad, the long-form content developed with our media partners allows us to go deep and connect with enthusiasts as they immerse themselves in their respective passions,” Materazzo says. “We can speak their language and connect with them in a more authentic and meaningful way. Each of those pieces of long-form content serves to fuel their curiosity as they dive deeper into their passion.”

For example, Lexus partnered with MotorTrend to feature a race between downhill skateboarder Josh Neuman and race car driver Rhys Millen in a series that debuts this week. 

Lexus also is partnering with Courageous Studios, CNN’s brand studio, to create a documentary-style campaign featuring travel expert Jessica Nabongo on her quest to become the first black woman to visit every state in the country. The campaign will be distributed via CNNgo in February.

Besides the two general market spots, additional unique executions were created to further explore the meaning of “all in” for Asian, Black, Hispanic and LGBTQ markets, according to the automaker.

TV spots will air during prime time, special events and sports including NFL playoffs and NBA. 

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