Last year, Lexus made a commercial that was scripted completely with artificial intelligence. Directed by Oscar-winner Kevin McDonald (The Last King of Scotland), the ad was designed to show how technology could use intuition to influence the creative process. The spot itself? It was just all right.
Now Lexus has swung waaaay back to the other end of the scale, embracing the idea of human master craftsmanship—specifically, what’s known in Japan as Takumi. It takes roughly 60,000 hours to reach a Takumi level of artisanal expertise, and to illustrate that commitment, the brand has made a 60,000-hour documentary that profiles four Japanese craftspeople: a carpenter, a chef, a traditional paper-cutting artist, and an automotive craftsman who works for, you guessed it, Lexus.
It’s not 60,000 hours of unique footage. It would take one crew 30 years to shoot that. But with agency The&Partnership and director Clay Jeter (Chef’s Table), the brand made short film sequences of three to five minutes following the Takumi artisans as they went about their daily business. Those sequences are looped, over and over for 20,000 hours each, making a 60,000-hour film with 54 minutes of documentary and 20 minutes of looped footage. If you hit Play on the online version, the film would run nonstop for seven years.