To introduce its "youngest" model to a "young affluent" audience, Lexus created an interactive site that allows users to manipulate images and sound and record said "mixes," as if they are aspiring DJs.
The site, the Amazing Mix, includes a video board as well as Lexus' 2014 IS sedan. By using their keyboards, users can manipulate the scene. Each one starts with a black and white version with the car at the center along with an underlying beat. As the user presses keys, various visual and audio changes take place that impact the car -- such as flashing headlights or a color change -- as well as the world around it, which includes suitcases and masks. From there, users can create custom mixes of said audio/visual changes that can be saved and shared via social channels.
The site has two modes -- Freeplay and Record.
"When you enter the site, there's an introductory video that plays and gives a sense of the types of imagery and actions you can provoke by using keyboard with Freeplay," says Lexus Advertising Manager MaryJane Kroll. "You press the keys and see what happens."
Record mode is for users who have "gone in and curated mixes, played with that function, edited them, tightened up the presentation and submitted it so it lives in the gallery," Kroll says.
The site launched July 8.
Lexus is asking fans to upload their mixes to the Amazing Mix gallery through August 5. Kroll would not disclose how many people have participated to date. However, as of Sunday, the gallery had about 360 mixes.
Voting will take place through August 18. After that time, Lexus will take the top ten mixes by votes and choose a winner, which will be announced in mid-September.
The Amazing Mix uses Flash for its main site, but Lexus says mobile users can access a custom HTML5 save-disabled version that allows them to play with the content.
According to Kroll, Lexus created a video for the vehicle's debut at the North American International Auto Show in January "which was really different than anything we've done before. In keeping with a bold new design and new direction for the brand, the video inspired a lot of imagery that ended up in launch materials, including the Amazing Mix."
Like the site, the video is black and white with images of the car alternating with models, dancers and text that come at a frantic pace, along with splashes of color.
Krolls says the brand wanted to "create an experience around the launch of a product that is really fun, different and something that you might not expect from a luxury car brand."
Posted January 15, it has 469,000 views.
"It's definitely different and I think that's one of the fun results -- the conversation around it is really positive and just genuine appreciation because the brand is bringing something fun that isn't purely a sales tool," Kroll says. "Really the reason we did it is we're launching a new vehicle...but we also really want to create something that embodies what the new vehicle is about."
She says the IS is a different offering from Lexus.
"It's bold and exciting and the Amazing Mix embodies all aspects of the new model," she adds.
Pricing starts at about $36,000.
The target audience is the "younger affluent" who is very tech-savvy, loves music and lives a lot of their media life online, Kroll says.
"The IS is essentially our youngest overall model and I think that comes through in how it is presented," she adds.
In addition to Lexus' social channels and Lexus.com, the campaign uses banners on Facebook, Twitter and sites such as Billboard, Cosmopolitan, E! Online and Spin.
Lexus has 1.9 million Facebook likes and 323,000 followers.
The project was developed by digital agency Attik.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.