I happened upon some YouTube videos (links highlighted below) put up by Toyota to sell their Lexus CT200h. Like a lot of car ads, they use celebs.
Unlike most, the celebs are social media sweetie-pies. This gave me a good follow-up post to yesterday’s entry about the importance of shareable content.
There are about a dozen five-minute segments called Darkcasting, hosted by comedienne Whitney “I don’t Google myself because porn comes up” Cummings. Lexus proclaims these the first ever in-car talk shows.
The idea here is that the social media celebs – including San Francisco’s Brian Solis, and New Yorker Baratunde Thurston, Web editor of Onion – answer Cummings penetrating questions about what they do and then get to hear a bit about the car they’re driving. It’s all very breezy and light.
Great idea in theory. These spots cannot have cost much to produce (low production values and comparatively cheap talent), and there is no media budget behind them. The viral catalysts (potential anyway) are popular, well-followed experts who presumably know how to get the word out.
All good. A smart social idea.
The only sobering note on all this excellent planning is that none of the videos has yet to receive more than 1,000 views, except the 30-second Intro segment, which is just traditional advertising.
I love that they’re using key influencers, but I suspect the lack of authenticity in the endorsement of the vehicle is what’s got the gears grinding on these.