Brands roll the dice when they affiliate with movies, since it’s anyone’s guess what will be a blockbuster.
Lexus chose correctly when it signed on 18 months ago to play an integral part of Disney’s “Black Panther,” where the main character drives a Lexus LC 500.
The movie, which opened in theaters Feb. 16, is smashing box office records. Global ticket sales by Monday will total an estimated $387 million, according to comScore. Disney said on Sunday that ticket sales for the film in North America alone will total roughly $218 million between Friday and Monday.
The partnership includes a website with a series of online comics featuring the vehicle. A 30-second spot, “Long Live The King,” ran during the third quarter of the Super Bowl. The 60-second version of the spot has already garnered more than 5 million views on YouTube.
The deal with Marvel was presented to the automaker by its minority markets agency Walter Isaacson, says Cooper Ericksen, Lexus vice president of marketing. It was right about the time that the 30-year-old brand was “entering a new phase of our history,” he tells Marketing Daily.
“The first three decades, we were really focusing on the ‘relentless pursuit of perfection,’” he says. “And we had a covenant that we really live by, which is produce the finest vehicles, treat customers like guests in our home, have the finest dealers and just determination. If you think you can, you will. And so that was really our guiding light for three decades.”
The brand is transitioning from its original tagline to “Experience Amazing,” he says.
“We want to become more emotionally engaging with our guests,” Ericksen says. “We want to be more of a lifestyle brand. And to do that a lot of things had to happen. One thing that had to happen we needed to change our tagline. We are transitioning from "perfection" to "experience amazing." So when we did that, there are many questions. 'Experience amazing, what is that? That sounds over the top. How can you achieve that?'”
The LC is the first vehicle that the automaker is producing under the design architecture and overall direction of "experience amazing,” he says.