To introduce Canadians to the new Lexus IS series, Lexus Canada said it is rolling out a comprehensive marketing program this summer as bold as the nameplate it is promoting.
But aside from the slew of traditional avenues Lexus is using to spread the word about the models, of particular interest is its focused effort on outside-the-box efforts including an augmented reality (AR) application for smartphones.
Decals have been placed on the floor of all IS vehicles on display at Lexus dealerships across Canada. When customers point their smartphone at the decal, they’ll be treated to an interactive AR experience on the device that “brings the IS to life.”
In addition, at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, an IS F SPORT will be on display, complete with its own interactive AR experience. Lexus also noted that an AR feature is being included in the new IS brochure as well.
The goal, explained Lexus director Cyril Dimitris, was to stimulate the senses.
“To convey that strong sense of emotion, we have carefully selected the specific elements of our program to set just the right tone for a vehicle that is truly ‘Amazing in Motion.’”
The AR component will be augmented by an event offering contestants a chance to “Get on Track” via Facebook to win one of 24 spots in an IS track day event on the ICAR Circuit in Mirabel, Quebec.
The Canadian launch of the all-new IS comes shortly after Lexus unveiled a global branding program to reinforce the brand’s obsession with design excellence and focus on engineering excellence.
That campaign includes a new lifestyle magazine available in Canada called Beyond By Lexus, which features Lexus vehicle information as well as stories on travel, architecture, art and design.
Another highlight is the creation of five short films that explore the theme of “Life is Amazing.” For this project, Lexus collaborated with The Weinstein Company to support emerging directors from around the world, commissioning them to bring five wonderful stories to life. These will debut at various film events and will be featured on lexus.ca later this year.
Redesigned for 2014, the Lexus IS and IS F SPORT provide another strong example of the more passionate and driver-focused direction Toyota and its subbrands have been taking with product of late.
The IS carries an Canadian MSRP starting at $37,300.