Consumers stockpile Lexus Moments

Time is money. Moments are the ultimate luxury. And Lexus has a brilliant branding strategy, positioning itself as the facilitator of golden moments.

Time is money. Moments are the ultimate luxury. And Lexus has a brilliant branding strategy, positioning itself as the facilitator of golden moments.

The luxury vehicle brand has leveraged its successful ‘Moments’ concept (which debuted in fall 2005 with a TV campaign), with a recent two-pronged copy-driven print campaign that describes moments that matter, like swimming with dolphins and learning to fly.

The ambitious effort, by Dentsu Canada, includes over a dozen executions, with 10 different full-page newspaper ads for the Globe and Mail alone. ‘We felt there were a lot of possible messages we wanted to get across,’ explains Warren Orton, director of public relations and advertising at Toronto-based Toyota Canada.

The campaign isn’t your average print effort; Dentsu’s creative and media teams worked closely together to maximize their media buys. For example, an ad tailored for paper Investor’s Digest, which talks up Lexus’ ‘seamless anticipation’ feature, even includes a wetnap for removing those unsightly ink stains to demonstrate that Lexus really can anticipate all of your needs.

And, magazine ads running in the likes of Maclean’s, Canadian Business and Toronto Life, have been customized with subscribers’ names inserted into the copy to demonstrate that Lexus tailors to their every need. ‘We thought this would be a real ‘wow,” says Orton. Several magazine executions describe ultimate Lexus moments created by specific vehicle features, with headlines like: ‘The first time it parallel parks itself will be a moment of true amazement. But then so will the 1,723rd time.’Others are more remniscent of the TV spots, lyrically describing life’s ultimate moments, without any car images or attributes. This effort is paired with one of three unique coupons to reinforce the brand’s commitment to providing the ultimate moments. They’re valid for unusual global experiences, like an elephant ride in Thailand or bungee jumping in New Zealand.

While the coupon offers may seem too obscure to be real, they are actually legit – the only catch being that you have to find your own way to the exotic locales.

‘[Dentsu account exec] Kathryn Long made sure all the deals were in place,’ explains Glen Hunt, creative catalyst at Dentsu, adding that they’ve already heard from a honeymooning couple who plan to redeem their free elephant rides in Thailand. ‘The coupons are 100% valid.’

Orton says he’s been taken aback by the overwhelmingly positive response to the ‘Moments’ campaign, adding that the Toyota call centre is getting at least one call a day from consumers requesting copies of the TV spots and even the new print ads. A woman in Winnipeg requested copies of all 10 of the newspaper print ads, so Toyota had them framed before mailing them to her.

‘The ‘Moments’ campaign has had a tremendous amount of resonance with consumers,’ says Orton. ‘We felt we had something here we could build on.’

He says they’re currently considering reprinting the ads as posters to give away to consumers.

director, Lexus: Stuart Payne

director of public relations and advertising: Warren Orton

national manager, public relations and advertising: Linas Balaisis

manager, Lexus advertising: Jeff Powell

agency: Dentsu Canada

CDs: Bill Parker, Glen Hunt

copywriters: Glen Hunt, Bill Parker, Matt Williamson, Andy Shortt

ADs: Boris Matas, Carson Ting, Greg Trinier, Les Soos, Deborah Prenger

typography: Tom Cochrane, Gasper Barone

production artist: Henry Lee

studio manager: Radek Chaloupka

print producer: Gary Hutchinson

project co-ordinator: Vic Paredes

agency producer: Amanda Loughran

assistant broadcast producer: Diana Nelson

account director: Emma Hall

account supervisor: Scott Morden

account executive: Kathryn Long

account co-ordinator: Tiphaine Paillard

director, communications planning: David Cairns

communications manager: Mark Wyeth

communications co-ordinator: Sherryl Woodward