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Lexus IS TV spots tout lifestyle of ideal consumer

June 14, 2013


Toyota Corp.’s Lexus is promoting its new IS sport sedan with television spots that aim to pique consumer interest by disrupting expectations.

The new 2014 Lexus IS advertising campaign is hoping to illuminate and applaud the lifestyle of the ideal Lexus consumer. The ads are vying for ways to provoke the audience into adopting similar attitudes.

"Through a stylized sense of reality, these ads are intended to create desire and connect emotionally to our intended audience as well as a younger, trendsetting demographic," said Nancy Hubbell, prestige communications manager at Lexus, Torrance, CA.

"The new IS, by virtue of its provocative styling and highly responsive performance, is a departure from the status quo," she said.

"It's a vehicle for those who to choose to make an independent statement and stand out from others, rather than blend in."

Pioneers welcome

Rather than blending in, Lexus tells consumers to “blend out” with the TV spots.

The TV spots are intentionally wrapped in jaunty music and display stylized scenes of polarized images.

White and black appear side by side to emphasize what seems to be the magnitude of difference an IS will make in a consumer's life.

In the “Color Shift” ad, images such as a guitarist, models strolling and a chess game flit into focus and give way to new images all of which are in motion of some sort. Even images of black-and-white stop signs appear as a way to add more conflict to the video.

Color Shift commercial

Structurally speaking, the commercial emits a sense of dynamism.

Correspondingly, Lexus is seeking to promote the same dynamism in its consumers lives.

2014 IS Sport Sedan

“Crowd,” “Color Shift” and “This is Your Move” - an ad directed towards African American consumers -  will air on NBC TV network during this year’s U.S. Open Championship, per Lexus.

“Intense” - an ad directed towards Hispanic consumers -  and additional Lexus IS marketing campaign elements will launch in the coming months.

"Through music, casting, wardrobe and even location, we infuse emotional moments that are culturally relevant to this audience to establish a connection between them and the Lexus brand," Ms. Hubbell said.

Traditional Campaigns

Lexus is continuing its tendency to produce highly stylized ads for print media and television.

This particular campaign is a logical extension from its previous LS Sedan campaign.

In the LS Sedan ads, consumers were encouraged to live loudly and luxuriously (see story).

Television still holds a dominant position in ultra-affluent and affluent spheres, according to a new study by the Shullman Research Center. Next to print media, television ranks second as the preferred mode of advertisement (see story).

Many luxury-brand campaigns such as British automaker Jaguar's new push to engage young males embark on a rounded multimedia effort (see story).

Furthermore, brands can still switch-up their approach to traditional platforms.

For Lexus, the apparent mission for its TV spots seems to be disrupting expectations of what a commercial can do. Rather than presenting a straightforward narrative, these spots rely on thematic narratives.

"TV has a much greater reach than mobile, giving the campaign additional exposure during launch and delivering a much more captive audience than on-the-go mobile users," Ms. Hubbell said.

"TV also provides an immersive experience through its big screen as compared to a smaller mobile environment," she said.

"The initial push is through TV, but we'll be focusing on multiple screens in the coming months, including mobile."

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York