AUSTIN, Texas -- Lexus, aiming to reach consumers who have not considered the brand in the past, will launch its first global advertising campaign in May.
While Lexus hasn't determined if it will adopt a single tag line or go with various tag lines, much of the creative and visual cues in the campaign will be similar, said Brian Smith, vice president of U.S. marketing for Lexus.
"It won't be the same phrase everywhere, but there will be a consistent message," Smith said. He said phrasing may vary because the same wording can have different meanings as it is translated.
The commercials likely will aim at consumers who have not considered buying a Lexus before, Smith said.
He disclosed the advertising plans to Automotive News during a program to introduce the redesigned Lexus IS sedan to journalists here.
Lexus, Toyota Motor Corp.'s luxury division, is sold in more than 80 markets.
It is overhauling the styling of its car and light-truck lineup -- highlighted by new spindlelike grilles -- to pump more energy and emotion into the brand, as well as attract new customers, notably younger buyers.
Trailing the Germans
Lexus' global sales rose 18 percent last year to 476,566 units but remain well below its primary German rivals. BMW sold 1.54 million models worldwide last year, Volkswagen AG's Audi luxury line sold 1.46 million vehicles and Mercedes-Benz had 1.32 million worldwide sales.
Smith declined to provide details about the creative work. However, while the spots will show various Lexus products, they will almost be secondary figures, he said.
While Lexus' U.S. operations have used some form of "Pursuit of Perfection" since the brand debuted 24 years ago, many overseas operations have not followed the same creative theme, Smith said.
The theme of the global campaign will be more unifying. While individual markets will maintain some product and ad independence, the brand campaign will be uniform across all markets, Smith said.
"The point of the brand campaign will be what we see on the screen, not so much words or language," Smith said. "It will be visual and impactful."
In fact, Lexus marketers overseas may eliminate a voiceover, leaving the commercials silent except for music and text, Smith said.
The commercials will come from an agency hired by Lexus' European operations, rather than from Lexus' U.S. agency, Team One.
The commercials are being shot in Europe, though not in a location that is easily identifiable.