Lexus – Cards

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This new, and rather ambitious, campaign for Lexus, based on the anti-vibration technology of their flagship model, the ES, dropped online a few days ago –

It’s all rather nice – the plinky-plonky soundtrack smacks of concentration and precision, and the idea demonstrates the car’s technology extremely impressively. The only thing is, and it’s a pretty big thing…

is that for me, there’s something just not quite right about the whole thing, a nagging feeling that won’t go away that’s proving really difficult to put down in words. Maybe it’s the fact that most of the cards aren’t actually on the car itself. Maybe it’s the strange disconnect between the enormous stacks of cards and the sudden image of the driver inside, as if he’s been sitting in there all along. Maybe its the voiceover guy’s bizarre movie trailer accent –

Or maybe it’s the appalling strapline – ‘Behind every detail, there’s a detail’, as if Lexus had created some perpetual, facing mirrors style abyss of insight and quality, like a never-ending set of matryoshka dolls. All these little things seem to combine to throw what should have been a really good ad off-course, and with these types of ad, it’s always the little things that matter –

I know Cake has been eulogised about endlessly, but it’s made up of the most perfect small touches – the golden syrup, the jelly brake light, the liquorice straps on the engine. Construction is full of these little moments of brilliance too – the way the car gently touches down onto the floor, the way the soundtrack perfectly marries with what’s going on, the ethereal quality of the mechanics, as if the car could never be the product of mere earthly beings. The most important feature of both, however, is that each really says something about the people that would choose to buy a Skoda or an Audi. Cake is all about Skoda’s drivers – they are happy, irreverent, not obsessed with performance or figures, but still take a real pleasure in driving. On the other hand, Audi drivers are exacting – they appreciate quality and are prepared to pay for it, they like the high-tech, and appreciate status. When you watch the Lexus spot, however, you get no real insight into who a Lexus is for – someone who doesn’t like to vibrate, perhaps? More importantly, and I think this could be the most important thing of all, the ad does nothing to dispel the commonly held view that Lexus drivers are slick, smarmy wankers, a legion of stockbrokers and oil salesmen gleefully profiting off half the world’s misery (although maybe they don’t have the same image in America, where this ad is clearly aimed). Manage to sort that out and they could be onto a winner.

Found through LasBlogEnpunto

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