LOS ANGELES -- Lexus' small CT 200h hybrid won't go on sale until February, but a short online movie called Dark Ride is already promoting the vehicle and reaching out to younger buyers.
Lexus and its ad agency, Skinny, aim to generate excitement among consumers 16 to 44 -- known as Gen XY. That demographic is a far cry from the median age of Lexus' owners -- 57.
The movie is interactive, with online participants commanding the wheel of a CT 200h. The mission is to prevent the opposition from stealing the car's hybrid technology while driving safely to Los Angeles. The driver makes the decisions.
The movie trailer began running on lexusdarkride.com on March 31. The movie debuted on lexus.com on May 14.
"This is the longest pre-launch we've ever had," says Lynda Eguchi, marketing strategy and life cycle manager for Lexus. "This will be the new gateway for getting to Gen XY. We want to move them into the Lexus family."