Lexus Aims for Younger Crowd with December Ads

Remember those old Lexus commercials where someone opens a gift box and the climax is a Lexus (surprise!) sitting in the driveway? Everyone crowds around the car like it’s Santa Claus himself, just marveling and exclaiming with happiness.

An example of a December 2011 ad:

First of all, I think commercials where someone gets a new car in the driveway are logistically a nightmare. How did the husband have time to sneak out and deposit this shiny vehicle in the driveway without anyone seeing it until morning? Also, when the husband drives to pick up the new car, what does he do with his own? He certainly doesn’t drive it back. Or does he have someone else drive the new Lexus over for him? Who does he trust enough? Does Lexus have a car-delivery system, like chauffeurs? Look, I’ve got a lot of questions.

They don’t matter, though. The point is that Lexus has unveiled a new campaign for its December push, and in these ads, people actually drive the cars. They uproot from their tech devices, quit liking, sharing, and friending in cyberspace, and get out and do the real thing themselves.

A December 2012 ad:

So, the bit about getting off your arse to hang out in real life is not a new message in advertising (remember Applebee’s botched “Girls Night Out” campaign?), but it’s a notable change for Lexus because the brand appears to be targeting younger consumers.

The new direction actually makes the Lexus appear more attainable. The characters in these commercials are more relatable. And given that BMW recently unseated Lexus as the top luxury car brand, the entire campaign is extremely temporal.

Also, check out this pretty funny parody of the old Lexus commercials:

Will You Try Pepsi’s Latest Diet Drink if Pepsi Does Your Chores?

First, Pepsi announced it would team up with the estate of the King of Pop, coinciding with this year’s 25th anniversary of the release of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album.

Now, Pepsi is introducing a campaign called “The Extra Hour” to promote Pepsi Next, its new 60-calorie variety. The soda brand is joining forces with TaskRabbit, a startup in which people enlist community members to help perform daily chores. Fans go to the website, sign up, and Pepsi will hand out 50 task helpers for one hour to winners for the next four weeks. The “Extra Hour” continues through Nov. 12.

Will people take Pepsi up on this? Yes! This is a great idea for a campaign. The winners get a free soda and a free task. Who doesn’t want to skip washing the dishes or scooting to the dry cleaner for a night, and just lay on the couch, drink soda, and watch “Nashville” instead?

I wonder about the longevity of this campaign, however. It ends in four weeks with 200 ultimate winners. While it may gain good press for the brand, especially if the winners use word-of-mouth to spread their like of TaskRabbit and/or Pepsi Next, where does the promotion for the diet drink go from here? While Pepsi dream up another partnership or turn to a generic online, television, and print campaign?

If it doesn’t gain the traction Pepsi desires, I won’t be surprised to see Pepsi Next go the failed route of Pepsi Blue (2002-2004), Sprite Remix (2003-2005), and Coca-Cola’s Surge (1996-2002).