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One Less Car Company to Consider

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My car isn't that old, just 5 years. It has very few miles on it, probably around 50,000. However, at some point, I'll have to think about a replacement car. When that time comes, I won't have to consider getting a Lexus.

I'm sure that Lexus makes a fine car. My friend even had one a few years ago. I even like their convertible hardtop. That said, their Christmas commercials has left a bad taste in my mouth. And I'm not the only one.

For those who haven't seen the commercials, various people and couples are giving their significant others a new car for Christmas. What percent of people can make this kind of decision? I imagine that for each person that can afford it (their target audience), they are alienating the 99 others. Maybe Lexus is thinking that even bad publicity is better than no publicity at all.

Lastly, I can't help but wonder who would want their significant other to choose their car for them. Would they know that I want this brand of Lexus? Would they know the colors and options that I was looking into? If so, maybe it makes sense, but we are now probably talking about a 1 in 10,000 target audience for Lexus.

Thanks Lexus, you made my next car decision a little easier.

Posted on November 27, 2006.

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7 Responses to “One Less Car Company to Consider”

  1. Flexo says:

    I’ve noticed these commercials for the last couple of years. I think it’s a clever piece of marketing and branding, and I’ve already seen other brands trying to imitate Lexus. I think the commercial is simply effective brand management; very few people will actually buy a car for their SO unless they are fabulously wealthy or fabulously stupid.

    Lexus can afford to speak to the 1 in 10,000 because the other 9,999 wouldn’t buy that brand anyway, they’d buy Toyota. (Both brands are the same company.)

  2. I thought of it as very interesting myself. The thing is that I could afford a Lexus if I really wanted to. I could even consider a used Lexus. There are a lot of young people who might not be able to afford a Lexus now, but will someday. So they target the very few people fabulously wealthy or fabulously stupid people and give up on a bigger audience – the people who are on the edge of financially being able to buy it.

    The other factor to consider is the next generation of young people. Someday they’ll be in the position to be in the potential Lexus owner demographic, but if they are like me (and quite a few people I’ve talked to), they will also boycott Lexus because of this. So while they may be Toyota people today, they may have become Lexus people tomorrow.

    Maybe they are getting what they want with their brand management. I’m sure they have research groups to give them feedback on the campaigns before they get out. Still, I think it has a lot of room to backfire on them.

  3. While I have not seen the Lexus commercials, one of my best friends last Christmas bought his wife a car for Christmas. She hit the ceiling. He was trying to do something nice for her – and they had just come into some money. I was with him as he agonized over the decision, and pretty much just went for it with both feet in the water. These folks have been married for well over 10 years, have some financial ground on which to stand, and she still went nuts.

    You had better be very secure in your relationship before doing this type of gifting.

  4. Wanda says:

    It’s also not a good idea to buy a car for someone because of legal liability and insurance reasons. But you can take someone to a dealership and let them pick out the car and then you’ll pay for it.

    As to the target audience – building up a luxury brand is not only about people who can afford it at the moment, but the “aspirational” buyers who equate Lexus with luxury and prestige and would want to purchase the brand when they are able to. Some people might be turned off, but I’m sure they’ve done focus groups and have gotten favorable response. I think BMW, Mercedes, and Jaguar have also done similar commercials. Personally, I’m not offended – I think it’s kind of cute. :)

    But I won’t be getting a Lexus for a LONG while!

  5. lexus has succeeded in branding through that ad!
    the point of such an ad to make people remember it, even if they hate the ad.
    remember “head-on” and that weird singing-hamster-rodent-hybrid in Quiznos ads?

    its not failure if people remember the brand!!!!

  6. Todd says:

    My wife has a Lexux, and I took it in for the 30k mile tune-up. It was $640!!! Crazy!

  7. […] to the best gift a person has gotten. That's about all I'll say on this because I've mentioned in 2006 as well as […]

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