January is almost here and the holidays are mostly behind us (minus one last drunken evening where you surround yourself with Woo Girls and toast the last year before the Mayans go apocalyptic on our asses), which means that you only have a few precious days left to enjoy Lexus’s “December to Remember” Sales Event commercials. You may already be familiar with them: they’re basically a series of commercials advertising Lexus cars. The website even urges you to “give that special someone the gift they’ve always deserved, and make this December one to remember.”
What cracks me up about this promotion isn’t the idea of giving someone a car for Christmas (an act of generosity I won’t be able to pull off until the startup I work for starts making mad dolla dolla bills y’all), it’s the fact that the commercials each center on the idea that everybody can immediately recognize Lexus’s self-appointed “You’re getting a Lexus, bitches!” jingle and creams their pants when they hear it.
Here are a few of the Lexus ads in case you haven’t seen them:
“Hey, this elevator music sounds a lot like the Lexus jing–waaaaait a minute…”
I like how the song was put together by the username “Dad of the Year”–how modest.
The Lexus YouTube account is trying to make this song a “thing” to the point where they state on each video, “When you hear that song, you know it’s time for the Lexus December to Remember Sales Event.” I can only deduce that they hire trucks to drive through affluent neighborhoods and pump that jingle out like some sort of One Percenter Ice Cream Man to get rich people to develop a Pavlovian reaction once they hear it.
Truck speakers: “Dum dum dum dum da da bum bum bum bahhhhhhhh…..”
Rich Ol’ Moneybags: “Hmm, I really need a new Lexus for some reason…”
Of course, big brands and catchy jingles are nothing new. Everyone’s familiar with McDonald’s “Ba da ba bah bahhhhh” I’m Lovin’ It tune, and many of us have heard a borderline hysterical woman screeching on the radio “That’s JA-REDDDDD!!! IT CAN ONLY BE JAAAAAAREDDDDDD!” to promote Jared Jewelers. But something about Lexus trying super hard to force this jingle down our throats and make it seem as if everyone knows it by heart seems a little “Are you fucking kidding me,” at least to this middle class girl. They’re the Gretchen Weiner of luxury car ads–“Stop trying to make these jingles happen, Lexus! They’re not going to happen!”
Then again, perhaps the point is to make the commercials so incredibly cheesy that snarky poor folk like myself make fun of them and inadvertently get the song stuck in their head, which is exactly what happened to me throughout an hour fifteen minute-long run. By the time I was done, I wanted to either kill myself or trade in my Subaru for a Lexus, I couldn’t decide which. Or maybe Lexus is trying the “Gabbo” approach to marketing, in which they hype up something that nobody knows about but gets excited for nonetheless. “You’re not familiar with the Lexus jingle? Well, of course you wouldn’t know it, you Camry-driving commoner! I shall laugh at your ignorance while polishing my monocle! “
The commercials are cheesy, sure, but you often get that type of marketing around the holidays. The real question is whether or not these ads are effective. At first I thought no because of how ludicrous the forced jingles are, but the more I thought about it, the more I accepted Lexus’s “Emperor’s New Clothes” marketing tactic. Poor people are probably thinking “WTF is up with this jingle, I’ve never heard it before. Is this a rich person thing, like a ‘wealthy folk only’ song?”, while rich people are all “Wait, I’m rich. Should I recognize this song? …uh, ‘cuz if so, I totally do. It’s the Lexus song! The one we rich people know…I’m gonna buy a Lexus, that’s how well I know this song.”
So in this marketing case study, Lexus tried to make “fetch” happen and maybe it worked. Then again, maybe it didn’t, but either way, it was intriguing enough for me to make fun of it in a blog post, so at least it got people talking (the ol’ “There’s no such thing as bad press” tactic). As you ponder how you feel about the “December to Remember” ads, keep in mind that if you like them, there are only a few days left to buy yourself a fancy new car, and if you hate them, there are only a few days left before you don’t have to put up with attractive Burberry-wrapped couples squealing with delight when they see their new luxury sedan adorned with a ridiculously gigantic bow. As for me, I’ve got to take my Impreza in to get the “check engine” light dealt with and hope for the best…