Posted by Dale Buss on October 29, 2012 05:35 PM
Lexus is ready to cap a satisfying comeback year with one of the biggest satisfactions of all: the launch of a new version of its flagship LS sedan. The Toyota-owned luxury brand's other three main sedans each handily outsells the top-of-the-line LS in volume, but none is as important as the LS in terms of setting the table for the Lexus brand -- and for its customers.
That's why Lexus plans a full-out marketing campaign for the new LS, a car that is so "refreshed" that it includes "more than 3,000 new parts." The effort is aimed at highlighting what a Lexus press release called "the thrilling, exclusive lifestyle LS drivers live."
And make no bones about it, this campaign doesn't apologize for the high-end lifestyle one presumably needs to afford an LS, nor for the people who can afford to live it — and to buy the car. The snob appeal is overt and unapologetic, because Lexus wants to get more fully back on the radar of U.S. luxury-car buyers who may have fallen away to some of the competition during the 18 months of overall supply difficulties for the brand and of waiting for the new LS.
So, Lexus is establishing four "pillars" of its LS campaign: a first-ever sponsorship of the GQ "Men of the Year" awards including a three-page spread in the magazine and digital homepage "takeovers"; a partnership with USA Network hit Suits that includes placement and an interactive game component; presenting sponsorship of a "new editorial platform" from Travel + Leisure and CNN called "100 Places to Eat Like a Local" that plans to "uncover the best authentic, under-the-radar places to eat around the globe"; and a partnership with Conde Nast Traveler.
As for the TV spots: Don't watch unless you're thirty-something, gorgeous, fun and wealthy, or at least able to imitate all of those characteristics. In one commercial, "Flashbulbs," we're treated to scenes in which a well-to-do couple are enjoying various playgrounds and told, "Someday, your life will flash before your eyes. Make it worth watching."
In the other launch spot for LS, "Paddleshifters," a paddle-shifting driver is shown enjoying the first-ever LS F Sport version, and the dog whistle intones, "Don't just reject convention. Drown it out. The entirely new 2013 Lexus LS.