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Industry Cars
Media Promo & PR
Market United States
Agency Skinny
Creative Director Nick Cope
Art Director Cris Westrell, Ryoko Hotani, Víctor Hermosillo
Released November 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best use of Social Media Marketing in a Promotional Campaign
Advertiser: LEXUS
Product/Service: LEXUS CT 200H
Agency: SKINNY
Date of First Appearance: Nov 4 2010
Entrant Company: SKINNY, New York, USA
Entry URL:
Chief Creative Officer: Jonas Hallberg (SKINNY)
Chief Creative Officer: Liron Reznik (SKINNY)
Chief Communications Officer: Cluadia Strauss (SKINNY)
Creative Director: Nick Cope (SKINNY)
Sr. Art Director: Jorge Ramirez (SKINNY)
Account Director: Lina Drott (SKINNY)
Director of Production: Laura Ferguson (SKINNY)
Director of Production: Mary Ellen Verrusio (SKINNY)
Art Director: Cris Westrell (SKINNY)
Art Director: Ryoko Hotani (SKINNY)
Art Director: Victor Hermosillo (SKINNY)
Communications Director: Matt Van Hoven (SKINNY)
Social Media Director: Colin Murphy (SKINNY)
Communications and Events Director: Gabe Banner (SKINNY)
PR Supervisor: Jeannine Magno Feyen (SKINNY)
Account Executive: Brenda O'Donovan (SKINNY)
Account Eecutive: Kellye Crittenden (SKINNY)
Account Coordinator: Ursula Cuevas (SKINNY)
Media placement: Like Exchange Program - Facebook - 1 November 2010
Media placement: Facebook Engagement Ads - Facebook - 27 December 2010
Media placement: YouTube Masthead, Live Streaming And Targeting Ads - YouTube - 27 December 2010
Media placement: Interactive Digital Banners - Google Mobile, Firefly Video - 8 November 2010
Media placement: Interactive Digital Gaming Experience - Google Mobile, Firefly Video - 13 December 2010
Media placement: Mobile Video - Mobile - 1 November 2010
Media placement: Exclusive Trade Release - Variety - 4 November 2010
Media placement: Exclusive Business Release - Wall Street Journal - 15 November 2010
Media placement: General Release Over The Wire - Various Trade And Consumer Publications - 15 November 2010

Describe the objective of the promotion.
Lexus, icon of luxury for a median age consumer of 57, was looking to generate “handraisers” for their new CT200h hybrid, priced attractively for younger, progressive buyers who wouldn’t typically consider a Lexus. With such a perception gap for the brand, however, test drives were critical to the launch strategy. Just one problem—with no cars scheduled to arrive to dealerships until the following year, how would the brand spread maximum buzz and generate the 12K leads necessary to keep pace with the program goals? Through the robust social media platform Darkcasting, Lexus engages highly-networked influencers to spread the word.

Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation.
In Phase One of the plan, we generated awareness with a highly-styled interactive film, promoted through online/OOH media, PR and SM. With Darkcasting we engaged our audience with shareable content--a groundbreaking talk show-meets-test drive, featuring @WhitneyCummings ‘interviewing’ influential guests with social capital and recognition in their fields—whether culinary, music, media, etc. Guests’ driving experience showcased the car and its relevance. Success came from “packaging” guests’ content, which they pushed out through their Twitter/Facebook accounts, garnering reTweets/pick up by followers and enthusiast sites. Our editorial team supplemented this with hundreds of mini-edits fed through owned, paid and earned channels.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service.

Episodes were filmed in six important Lexus markets. Demonstrating how the car “handled” each city created a strong connection/relevance for targets. Our influential drivers added credibility and snapped real time TwitPics on set with a provided #LexusCT. Later providing “custom” content in multiple formats encouraged guests’ “sharing,” driving followers back to sign up on the URL for their own test drive. At episode launches Lexus updated its own social networks, as did dealers, especially in said markets. This SM-led promotion driving to sign-up action ultimately provides dealers direct access to prospects, delivering the anticipated test drive once cars are available.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results.
Only months into launching its own handle Lexus considers Darkcasting its first major SM-led campaign and hugely influential in growing @Lexus’ base to 48K. Likewise during the campaign Lexus’ Facebook fans grew from 170k to 415K.

Casting high-profile SM stars (@briansolis, @baratunde, @threadless, etc), with robust followers and mini-media empires, led to immediate engagement. (Example: a single Tweet to a guest’s 90K followers garnered 1.48 million impressions after subsequent reTweets.)

Twitter generated 4,459,087 impressions, and the highest volume of site traffic, totaling 1,179,962 pageviews. Test-drive sign-ups totaled 18K, exceeding targets and nearly doubling the leads generated in Phase 1.