Lexus and Marvel Studios are once again teaming up in a marketing exercise meant to draw attention to Marvel’s newest film, “The Eternals,” while also lending pop cultural hipness to the Lexus line-up.
The two companies first teamed up on Marvel’s original Black Panther film.
“We’re thrilled to be teaming up with Lexus once again,” said Mindy Hamilton, SVP, Global Partnership Marketing at Marvel Studios. “These Eternals-inspired vehicles show that exciting collaborative storytelling can extend even beyond traditional media.”
Directed by the Russo Brothers and starring Kumail Nanjiani, the film is based on the 1970s comic book series created, written and drawn by the late Jack Kirby. The Russo Brothers are known for their previous Marvel films: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).
Marvel and Lexus already gave fans a taste of the forthcoming movie in a YouTube video called “Parking Spot,” starring Nanjiani and the V-8-powered IS 500 F-Sport.
A cosmic concept from a comic industry legend
Jack Kirby’s career dates to the birth of the comic book industry, having created scores of super heroes for scores of publishers. He co-created Captain America with Joe Simon in 1940, and the rest of the Marvel comics line with Stan Lee in the 1960s. He alone created “The Eternals” in 1976, which lasted for just 19 issues before being cancelled.
The series centers on two species who share ancestry with humans until interstellar space gods known as the Celestials visit Earth to spur evolution a couple million years ago. They beget a race known as the Eternals, immortals possessing super powers and their counterparts the Deviants, born with unstable genetics.
Worshipped as gods, the Eternals leave Earth after fighting with Greek, Roman and Norse gods. The Celestials are about to revisit Earth for the fourth time to see how their experiment is going and deliver their final judgement. The Eternals return to prevent the Deviants from destroying the Celestials, and prevent the Celestials from unleashing their fury on Earth.
The series was revived and expanded after Kirby’s death in 1994.
Pairing characters with cars
When pairing vehicles with the movie’s characters, Lexus custom-wrapped each one with designs inspired by each character’s armor, and their stature. So it’s not surprising that The Eternal’s technical leader, Ikaris, played by Richard Madden, gets a Lexus LS.
Similarly, Thena, played by Angelina Jolie, gets a similarly sensuous Lexus LC 500. Her de-facto partner Gilgamesh, played by Don Lee, is the strongest of The Eternals and pilots the strongest Lexus SUV, the LX.
Other pairings include Ajak, played by Salma Hayek, leader of the Polar Eternals, paired with the Lexus GX. The rebellious Druig, played by Barry Keoghan, also gets a GX, while samurai master Kingo, played by Kumail Nanjiani, is paired with the Lexus IS 500, as seen in the YouTube spot. The fastest Eternal, Makkari, played by Lauren Ridloff, drives the quickest Lexus, the RC-F Track Edition.
Technological guru Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry, receives a technologically-laden Lexus LX. Sersi, manipulator of molecules and one of the film’s most powerful characters, gets a Lexus RC-F. She is played by Gemma Chan. Finally, Sprite, played by Lia McHugh, whose power of self-transformation is allegedly mirrored in the Lexus NX.
What Lexus reaps from the movie
It’s a stretch to think seeing a character drive a car in a movie is enough to propel sales. But their presence does maintain awareness of the brand in a space that doesn’t compete with other corporate advertising, a problem when sponsoring something like sporting events.
“We’re excited to bring the ‘Eternals’ partnership to life through these custom-wrapped Lexus vehicles,” said Vinay Shahani, Lexus vice president of marketing. “Just as each Eternals character has a distinct style and set of capabilities, so does each character-themed Lexus.”
So, who gets the Lexus ES or RX? Hmmmmm?