From engines to engineering
Sometimes it's good to be reminded of what really good brand planning does: takes the latent potential of a brand and makes it into an asset, by connecting something obvious about the brand to something important in life.
Lexus have made fairly bland ads for years. They always tried to be about emotion but got clogged with distracting functional claims about the fuel pipelines, the energy efficiency, the power/weight ratio, or whatever. They ended up being forgettable ads about engines.
Their new work seems to have owned up to the fact that, as a business, they clearly get off on technical ingenuity rather than poetry. It's enabled a slight but powerful shift - from ads about engines, to ads about engineering.
It's a feat of subtle brand planning that's given them something that they want to talk about, that is worth listening to.
Rather than another ad about fuel injection, they've built a working hoverboard, and used that as the focus of a film about trying, failing, learning and succeeding. The internet is, rightly, passing it round like crazy, and it's really worth watching. (The craft of the film is also great.)
Well done to everyone involved. I hope it sells you some cars.
# Alex Steer (05/08/2015)