Lexus has recently produced and released a series of artsy short films, centered on the idea “Amazing in Motion,” which feature nary a shot nor a mention of their automobiles. This isn’t the kind of shameless self-promotion we’re used to from major car companies. What gives with this new approach from Lexus, and could it become a trend?
The series of five films (the final one to be released June 25) is a joint venture from Lexus Short Films and The Weinstein Company. To movie lovers, that name should sound familiar. Bob and Harvey Weinstein are the big-time Hollywood producers who founded, built, and ultimately sold a highly successful, independent production company called Miramax studios. Best known for their award-winning hits at Miramax, including Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love, and Good Will Hunting, the brothers have since started from scratch again with The Weinstein Company.
In the latest installment in the Lexus series, “Pupil,” we follow the story of a woman in two stages of her life. We see her as both a talented young painter peddling her wares on the street, and also years later, when she appears to have lost her passion while working in the corporate world. She is confronted in both stages by an illness that threatens to take away her abilities and her enjoyment for life, but she finds a way to overcome it. And no, it’s not by getting a great Lexus lease deal at her local dealership. Lexus cars are nowhere to be found in this video.
The film project isn’t the first outside-the-box thinking we’ve seen from Lexus with regards to promotion of its products. I’ve previously written about the company’s “Steps” commercial, in which two enormous but expressive metal puppets find one another in a city, with only a brief shot of a Lexus concept car in the closing seconds. The goal for Lexus with these videos seems to be to inspire the customer with the feelings their cars are meant to evoke, through somewhat unconventional means, rather than ramming photos and video of the vehicles down consumers’ throats.
Three other films have also been released, all focused on themes of passion, love, and overcoming challenges. These are all feelings that Lexus would love to associate with their cars in some way, but these mini-movies only accomplish that objective in a very broad sense. What do you think of these films? Has Lexus created a unique marketing strategy that other car brands should dabble in, or is this project even worth their time and money?
Photo of the short film “Pupil” captured from Youtube.com