Matthew Miller
Jan 20, 2015

Hey, you in the white SUV, wanna buy a Lexus?

AUSTRALIA - In a technology-enabled OOH campaign through M&C Saatchi, cheeky billboards in Australia are asking individual drivers of vehicles from Audi, Range Rover and Mercedes to consider a new Lexus instead.

Hey, you in the white SUV, wanna buy a Lexus?

Client: Lexus Australia

Agency: M&C Saatchi in collaboration with APN Outdoor and TMS

Market: Australia

Campaign scope: Interactive billboards at high-traffic locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Details: Like a scene out of the 1991 Steve Martin film LA Story, the billboards address people directly. Only instead of asking for hugs and offering cryptic advice (see the clip below), these smart signs ask drivers to consider buying the new Lexus crossover vehicle.

The billboards use cameras and an image-recognition database to identify the make, model and color of approaching cars in order to deliver personalised messages such as "Hey, white Audi driver, it’s time to Crossover. This is the New Lexus NX." The system also incorporates real-world factors such as weather conditions to craft messages such as, "Hey black Merc driver, the heavens have opened. This is the new Lexus NX."). Each billboard has 80 different message configurations, according to M&C Saatchi. 

Press release quote: Adrian Weimers, Lexus Australia corporate manager, sales and operations: "Smart out-of-home aligns perfectly to our new messaging. Our job doesn't simply start with telling everyone ‘This is the New Lexus’, it's also about how we say it. Using innovative technology such as this activation helps us to further reinforce that there is a change at Lexus."

Campaign Asia Pacific's comments: The medium is the message, as they say, and this seems like a cool way of helping the brand project tech acumen. We wonder, however, whether drivers actually notice the changing messages as they rush past. Conversely, we wonder whether the brand and agencies are gritting their collective teeth hoping the billboards don't lead to any accidents.  


The agency declined to share a list of credits.


Scene from LA Story, an underrated classic:


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