Lexus IS F Launch Lexus Agency: RMG Target anpost.ie/mailmedia
Lexus IS F Launch The Challenge From luxury hybrids to executive class saloons, Lexus has a wide and varied range. With the launch of the Lexus IS F, it was attempting to enter the lucrative luxury sports saloon market which was dominated by the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Audi.There were many challenges facing Lexus: New to this market segment and without inherent sports DNA, Lexus was going to have to address the credibility gap with a vehicle that was better than it competitors and a launch that delivered significant cut through. Lexus also needed to address a perception that existed in certain quarters of the Motoring Press that Lexus had become a more conservative choice and appealed to an age profile that might be beyond the reach of a sports car. Lexus needed to launch the IS F without alienating its successfully cultivated positioning and existing customer base
Lexus IS F Launch The Target Market The ultimate end-user was likely to be 35-50 year old early adopter males. However, this launch focused on 3 area’s key to successfully targeting this area into 3 segments: The Lexus Dealer network, who needed to be convinced of the merits of the car and be armed with the means to both order and sell the IS F. High end prospects who were identified by the dealerships. Given the purchase price of the vehicle and the associated performance capability, the creative bull’s-eye was approx 40 years old. Media outlets that could help generate coverage and facilitate the positioning of the ISF as a credible and desirable alternative to the German, Italian and British incumbents.
Lexus IS F Launch The Thinking There are a number of touch points (both emotional & rational) that influence the purchase decision in this sector with competitor brands focused on some but not all of these – for example, where there is a reputation for innovative design, questions were asked about reliability, where performance was paramount, people questioned the fuel consumption. The strategy was to fill this gap with an IS F proposition that delivered on the obligatory performance promise but also heeded the need for elements of practicality.
Lexus IS F Launch In order to meet their objectives, Lexus required an event that could speak equally well to its new target audience without in any way alienating the existing Lexus customer base. In a first for the brand, the strategy was to develop a Direct Marketing campaign for a car launch that was executed exclusively below the line. The campaign was designed to allow the target audience to experience the car for themselves and recognise the inherent appeal of a vehicle that could switch from a superbly engineered everyday road car to a thrilling high performance track bred vehicle.
Lexus IS F Launch The Mailing This exclusively below the line execution allowed the brand to develop a tone of voice that could push the boundaries while not in any way risk alienating the existing customer base.The direct mail piece served as an invite with a branded leather box which opened to reveal a standard brochure format and teased with the line, ‘You may be needing these’. The reveal however was a little tongue in cheek, adding some humour to the communication. In this vein, the DM piece revealed, 2 balls of steel! The inference being that whilst the car may look like a typical Lexus, it performs like a thoroughbred race car. Drive it if you dare!
Lexus IS F Launch The Results The launch was a huge success and was heavily over subscribed. It resulted in the following: At a max capacity of 120 people over 3 days, the event was full on each of the three days. 100% footfall target been achieved. 20 key motor writers were invited and the ISF launch was featured in seven pieces of national coverage, two trade publications – DRIVE and NEWCAR and three on line car specific sites. This generated circulation of 1.4m with an advertising equivalent value of €76k and PR value of €229k.
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