With the arrival of the all-new CT 200h premium hybrid compact in showrooms later this month, Lexus introduces a vehicle that breaks the mold of conventional hybrids. It delivers what many thought was impossible—a hybrid with sporty, sexy styling, dynamic handling, best in class mileage and all the luxury of a Lexus.
To launch the CT, Lexus is embarking on one of the largest marketing campaigns in the brand’s history. The multi-faceted campaign, which broke on March 1, features pioneering computer-generated (CG) creative and unconventional media executions.
“This campaign had to convey the CT’s uncompromising personality and reach both current Lexus owners and new consumers through bold and engaging initiatives that hit their passion points,” said Dave Nordstrom, vice president of marketing for Lexus. “The result is a campaign that reflects the car itself – it’s energetic, passionate and very dynamic.”
The broadcast campaign includes four television commercials that demonstrate the “darker side of green” of the CT, a hybrid with aggressive styling and dynamic handling. Three of the spots make use of photo-real computer generated images with only the interior shots being live action.
The first spot, “Escape,” expresses the desire to free yourself from the confines of someone else’s reality. In a starkly black and white graphic world, a Matador Red CT races through the streets in a hyperkinetic chase scene, intercut with images of the vehicle’s interior. The spot culminates as the CT approaches a brick wall on a dead end street. Instead of slowing down, the driver speeds up and smashes through the wall into a world of color. The voiceover reads, “Escape convention. Escape definition. Escape compromise… Welcome to the darker side of green.”
The second commercial, “Challenge,” lets the viewer discover that reality is what you make of it. The spot takes place in a surreal urban environment. The roads, sidewalks and buildings subtly shift perspective, as the CT aggressively maneuvers through the scene. As the roads shift, the CT navigates the changing terrain as it races to the escape route.
Spot number three, “Forge,” was originally created for the African American market, but will also run in general rotation. In this ad, Lexus took a different approach to showcasing the vehicle. A squadron of CTs is seen forging its own road, traveling toward a wall of skyscrapers. Roads open and obstacles vanish as the CTs gain full access to what seems like an impenetrable city. Actor and best-selling author Hill Harper appears in the spot and provides the voiceover—declaring the CT is, “Just what you need to forge your own path.”
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.