Lexus embraces mobile social to target tech-savvy consumers
By Chantal Tode
September 10, 2012
The Lexus ES 2013
A multichannel marketing campaign for the 2013 Lexus ES includes a tie-in with social aggregation magazine app Flipboard to showcase the vehicle’s features.
Toyota Corp.’s Lexus is creating a branded Flipboard magazine as well as running ads in Esquire’s Flipboard channels. The strategy is part of wider effort that encompasses traditional TV advertising, a Facebook integration, print and out-of-home.
“Flipboard delivers a highly engaged and social audience and multiple devices, and users can add the Lexus Magazine to their own favorite sections on Flipboard for continued access,” said Nancy Hubbell, communications manager of Lexus, Torrance, CA.
“Expanding on the social aspect, users can also share Lexus content across their networks,” she said.
“Mobile plays a huge role in Lexus' marketing campaigns as mobile usage continues to grow exponentially. The mobile platform allows Lexus to effectively target the younger, tech-savvy and ‘on-the-go’ audience and give users the opportunity to engage with the brand anywhere and everywhere.”
Social marketing plays a big role in the new campaign and includes the branded Flipboard magazine, the first from an automotive manufacturer, according to Lexus. It will be available on iPad, iPhone and Android devices and will include content from Lexus’ Twitter feed.
Lexus is also releasing a custom Facebook app inviting digital consumers to vote for their favorite start-up projects from entrepreneurs and innovators that represent the intersection of high-tech and high-style, such as an RFID camera and a foldable electric bicycle. Lexus will provide $100,000 in seed funding to four fan favorites.
The mobile marketing support for the Lexus ES 2013 also includes a mobile app that was introduced last month. The iPad app lets consumers test drive functions and compare the vehicle with competing brands (see story).
A Flipboard ad for the new Lexus ES vehicles.
The car maker will also sponsor the ESPN Saturday Afternoon College Football Halftime Show, with activations extending across mobile, tablet and online platforms.
The digital components of the campaign include page takeovers and pushdown banners on high-traffic Web sites.
The TV campaign includes two general market ads that highlight the car’s styling and features. Additionally, there are three spots geared toward African-American, Hispanic and LGBT audiences.
Other elements of the campaign include print ads in Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated and Elle Décor, digital boards in Times Square and a spot in 1,500 movie theaters.
A broad mobile strategy
The Lexus brand is actively engaged in mobile marketing for several of its vehicles.
In May, Lexus drove awareness for its new 2012 RX F Sport model and let consumers learn more about it via ads in The Weather Channel app (see story).
At the beginning of the year, the car maker’s financial services division introduced the myLFS application for the iPhone and iPod touch, enabling customers to pay bills, get in touch with the brand and stay up-to-date with special offers (see story).
“Lexus is the first-ever automotive manufacturer to create a Brand Magazine on Flipboard, the world's first social magazine designed for iPad, iPhone and Android,” Ms. Hubbell said.
“Content from Lexus’ Twitter feed will help populate the Brand Magazine,” she said.
“Calls to action for the ads will send users to the Lexus Branded Magazine and Lexus ES mobile Web site.”
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York
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