May 31, 2018
Toyota Corp.’s Lexus is paralleling the disconcerting experience that can be had at dealerships to a maze in its latest creative campaign, as the automaker looks to revolutionize the car-buying experience.
“The Maze” is Lexus’ latest spot made in creation with agency of record Team One that touts the debut of its new dealership experience named Lexus Plus. The concept has been established in 12 different markets and promotes transparency and negotiation-free pricing.
“Lexus Plus is about bringing Lexus innovation out of the car and into the car-buying process," said Geoff Vreeken, creative director at Team One. "It is about adding simplicity. To that end, we opted for a simple allegory, told beautifully."
Finding a way out
Lexus’ film shows a woman traveling through a hedge maze as a deep fog settles around her. She turns corners, hoping to make her way out, before pausing.
The angle widens to show where the woman is placed in the maze. She is right in the middle with no hope of escaping.
“If you could reimagine the way you buy a car,” the voiceover says, “what would you do?”
Nearby the maze, a Lexus revs its engine as its headlights flash on. The woman hears the roar and turns toward where the sound is coming from with a determined look on her face.
She begins running towards it, smashing through the hedges that have caged in her in.
“You would make the complex simple, demand transparency for the entire process,” the narrator continues, “and make negotiations disappear,” as the woman barrels through the final wall in slow motion.
She finally lands on the other side in front of the Lexus, before opening the driver's side door and breathing a sigh of relief.
Lexus' spot to promote Lexus Plus
The video promotes Lexus Plus, a dealership concept that embodies the values mentioned in the ad.
Lexus believes it is revolutionizing the dealership experience, which has been known for being confusing, aggressive and outdated.
The automaker claims the model follows its continual strategy in changing luxury automobile manufacturing and car buying.
While some believe that negotiation- or haggle-free pricing could be detrimental for customers, allowing dealerships to get away with higher prices, Lexus insists its valuations are highly competitive.
Each Lexus Plus dealership looks at market conditions and average price paid in each specific location, for all products, including parts and merchandise.
A Lexus Plus dealership. Image credit: Lexus
Another new feature of the brand’s dealership program is that when buying a vehicle, customers will interact with one qualified personnel for all aspects of the buying process. Instead of having to see a different employees for financial aspects and purchasing, it limits the process to only one person.
Various sectors within retail have been transforming thanks to digital and customer behavior.
But some industries such as the vehicle dealership market remains largely unchanged, despite consumer frustrations and transformations in retail.
However, a few luxury automakers, like Lexus, are making strides towards a new future in car buying.
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"We wanted our audience to not only understand the benefits of Lexus Plus, but to feel them as well," Mr. Vreeken said.