Lexus Aims to Stir Emotions with Giant Metal Puppets

by Nate Torvik on May 14, 2013

Lexus "Steps"Now more than ever, visual creativity is of the utmost importance in the world of marketing and advertising. In the automotive industry, when companies often play off of the sound of a roaring engine, screeching tires, or the zip of a car as it flies by, the visual aspects of commercials and online short films help brands convey complex messages to viewers. Being able to show that your brand is more graphically imaginative than the next may not immediately trigger someone to purchase a vehicle, but it will help assure that customers won’t forget that one brand with that one amazing video.

Playing off of this theory, Lexus recently released a short film titled “Steps.” It follows an 11-foot-tall metal puppet (along with complementary puppeteers) wandering through a city at night in search of … something. With each puppeteer playing their part perfectly, the startlingly lifelike puppet surveys a city from the top of a building, peers into the windows of an office, and stares longingly at statues, all the time looking for something unknown. Eventually, he finds the item of his desire, a giant female puppet, and they show their affection in a peculiar, puppet kind of way. Amazingly, the ad lasts a full 1:30, and we see only a few fleeting seconds of a future Lexus model, the LF-CC, at the end.

Who’s responsible for this odd but strangely immersing film? None other than Daniel Kleinman, the man behind the James Bond opening title sequences in the 2000s, which have drawn in audiences everywhere with their bizarre yet beautiful beginnings. This is a story for and by Lexus, stereotypically one of the least exciting auto brands, but something about the commercial stirs emotions not often felt from a typical car ad. Yes, it is weird, uncommon, and maybe a bit confusing, but there is something about the spot that just “gets to you.” What do you think? Watch it here for yourself.

(photo courtesy of Adweek)

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