For the last two years, multiple Toyota Motor North America executives said they still believe there is still a market for passenger cars, and they are backing up their faith with a new marketing campaign for the new 2021 Lexus IS.
“We’ve seen other manufacturers just walk away from the passenger car market,” noted Jack Hollis, TMNA executive vice president of automotive operations. Toyota, though, plans to remain in the passenger car business and is eager to pickup the business being abandoned by other manufacturers,” Hollis said during a conference call with reporters to discuss 2020 sales totals.
He noted the midsized Toyota Camry was the best-selling passenger car for the 19th consecutive year during 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which bolstered consumer interest in pickup trucks and utility vehicles.
Stephanie Brinley, principal automotive analyst for IHS Markit, noted in 2020 utility vehicles reached 50% market share, across all size segments, compared with 48% in 2019. “Pickup truck sales remained strong over the course of the year and are expected to end 2020 at about 20% share of total light vehicle sales, compared with 18.1% in 2019,” she added.
Nevertheless, TMNA, which spent heavily on advertising on promotions throughout the holiday season, is planning a major campaign to promote one of new sedans, the sport 2021 Lexus IS.
“The campaign from Team One is designed to reach Lexus’ youngest, most fiercely authentic customer yet. Rather than using actors in the campaign, Lexus cast micro-influencers who are synonymous with their unique areas of interest,” according to an email from a Lexus representative.
The new spots comprising the “All In” campaign for the Lexus IS, which are dubbed “Names” and “Vanity Plates,” will air during a variety of programing, including the highly rated National Football League playoffs, which start next weekend. The new spots are slated to appear in primetime, special and and sporting events, including the NFL and NBA.
The ads, which emphasize passion, are designed to appeal to potential drivers. Anyone interested in learning more about the car will be able to ask their Google Assistant-ready devices about the new Lexus IS model. They can get details about the vehicle’s latest technology, audio, performance and safety features, as well as getting link to nearby dealerships.
The campaign also will include video, audio, connected speakers, print, social and display, Lexus officials said, and feature “influencers” with a youthful audience such as Sneakerhead, audiophile, fashionista, gamer, who are “all in” on their individual passions.
“The IS customer is our youngest, most fiercely authentic yet,” said Lisa Materazzo, vice president of Lexus marketing. “The marketing campaign, like the new IS, is equally authentic and celebrates those who fully embrace their passions,” she said.