Lexus to make major ad change in the US starting January 2014

Article by Anita Panait, on December 3, 2013

The general manager of Lexus Division, Jeff Bracken, expects to have a tough time regaining its sales dominance in the United States that it lost to German carmakers. This is why Lexus will change its advertising methods starting January 2014 to help dealers better compete. By then Lexus will shift to an "always on" model for its dealer advertising associations, Bracken said.

In its previous ad stints, the carmaker’s presence fades for a week or two every month, mainly because its 110 dealer advertising associations need to have individual "dealer tags" for all 233 retailers at the end of the commercials. This process consumes time, therefore causing delays for the airing of the commercial. Lexus commercials typically don’t air early in the month. Now, the commercial will bear the message "See your local Lexus dealer.”

Bracken remarked that “most people know who their local Lexus dealer is." The individual dealer tagging will still continue for dealers in crowded metro areas. It may also be applied to commercials promoting high-volume vehicles like the RX crossover and IS sedan. However, lower-volume vehicles like the GS sedan might gain more airtime if they bear the "See your local dealer" tags, according to Bracken.

He remarked that the GS “doesn't get the marketing resources as often as it should.” Bracken expects Lexus' advertising budget to surge in 2014, both nationally and in regional and local dealer association spending. The luxury brand spent $280 million in 2012, according to latest numbers from Kantar Media.

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