Recently, I had the pleasure of testing two new Lexus models (RC and GS) in Mallorca. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but the trip got me thinking about advertising. To be more precise, the trip considerably changed the way I look at cars. I feel a great respect for Lexus but it’s not because I saw some brilliant advert or because they organised a private jet, 5* hotel and an eventful afternoon driving their new cars – because really, they are all just marketing tools to sell cars, aren’t they? At least that’s what I thought until I met Thomas Rosselle, a passionate and friendly French brand manager at Lexus UK who really gave me new insights into how the company priorities customers to ensure the best possible experience.

Blue Lexus GS by Sane Seven
Blue Lexus GS by Sane Seven

We all know that the main purpose of any business is to make money. It’s difficult to shake that thought regardless of how smart advertising campaigns might be – at the end of the day, it’s all about stock exchange rate. It’s in the very definition of a word ‘company’ – a commercial business. A commercial business is not a person that is capable of feeling or showing care, so why would I look at an advert and be persuaded by anything other than what I can see or test – specifications of the car, its design, colour, interior, and the price of it all compared to everything else existing out there?

Lexus GS Test for MR H

Lexus GS Test for MR H

I guess the answer is pretty simple. A passionate designer will only care about designing the best piece of interior hoping that the users will appreciate it more than they appreciate the work of their competitor. A good engineer will always be devastated seeing his precious creation parked on hard shoulder with hazards lights on. I know that because it’s the reason why I do what I do. Thus a car is a sum of each individual’s effort to create something that will impress the end user making all that effort worthwhile. I sit in the new Lexus RC and I like its beautiful interior. I like its ignition button, automatic gearbox, the way it sounds. And I know that I have that feeling not because somebody is trying to trick me into buying it but because a group of passionate individuals who designed the car succeeded at making me feel special. For a brief moment I think that this is what Lexus is – real people caring how I feel about their creation just like I care how others feel about my creations. How to retain that personal touch in advertising is a whole different story. I close the door, get back on a plane and fly back home. Lexus RC is ‘the world’s first luxury coupe powered by a full hybrid drivetrain’. I don’t really know what that means but I will remember something else about it. After all, people might not remember what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

Red Lexus RC by Sane Seven
Red Lexus RC by Sane Seven

Special thanks to Lee Joseph and his brilliant magazine MR H for making the trip possible.