Lexus is talking their marketing to a whole new level with the continued launch of the Lexus CT 200h Hybrid. Their latest effort is a 12 minute and 30 second action film that has just been released today. The film features actor Norman Reedus (Boondock Saints franchise) behind the wheel of the CT 200h while you, the consumer, call every automotive shot imaginable. Yes, Lexus has given the consumer the wheel. Dave Nordstrom describes the online experience:

"With ’Dark Ride’ we are creating a unique virtual test drive opportunity so consumers can experience this hybrid, that is like no other, months before it is available at dealerships in early 2011," said Dave Nordstrom, Lexus vice president of marketing. "In it, consumers play a co-starring role as the fun-to-driveLexus CT 200h is put through its paces. By guiding the driver and the CT through a series of adventures, customers will be exposed to ’The Darker Side of Green,’ which is completely different than the way hybrids are usually portrayed."

Not only will the consumer be calling the shots, they also get to insert themselves into the film with the use of a webcam or photo. Consumers can also record their own dialogue lines, control the camera movement and POV, and make decisions that alter the path of the Lexus CT 200h Hybrid.

Hit the jump to see the trailer for "Dark Ride" and the official press release.

Press Release

"Get in, buckle up and start talking." Lexus customers will be calling the shots in a high-definition interactive film entitled "Dark Ride." The film features Lexus’ newest hybrid, the CT 200h premium compact car, piloted by actor Norman Reedus (Boondock Saints franchise). Reedus is behind the wheel in this 12:30 action film, but he is following the directions of the person riding shotgun...the consumer.

"With ’Dark Ride’ we are creating a unique virtual test drive opportunity so consumers can experience this hybrid, that is like no other, months before it is available at dealerships in early 2011," said Dave Nordstrom, Lexus vice president of marketing. "In it, consumers play a co-starring role as the fun-to-drive Lexus CT 200h is put through its paces. By guiding the driver and the CT through a series of adventures, customers will be exposed to ’The Darker Side of Green,’ which is completely different than the way hybrids are usually portrayed."

The film releases online at www.lexusdarkride.com today along with the trailer for the film, which will appear in select movie theaters across the country. Visitors to the www.lexusdarkride.com site will get to insert themselves into the film, sitting beside "Tony" (Reedus), and navigating while he drives the CT 200h from the Nevada desert to a Los Angeles safehouse and protects it from a variety of enemies who wish to get their hands on the new prototype.

Consumers will use an array of interactive features in the film — allowing them to insert their own likeness (via a Webcam or profile pic), record their own dialogue lines, control the camera movement and POV, and make decisions that alter the path of the film so new situations arise each time.

The "Dark Ride" film is the next step in the launch of the Lexus CT 200h and demonstrates Lexus’ marketing theme, "The Darker Side of Green." This theme, which shines a different light on this new breed of a fun-to-drive hybrid, debuted at a star-studded event prior to the CT 200h’s North American debut at the New York International Auto Show in April. This initiative will continue through the launch period with in-market custom events and a VIP marketing program that will give tech-savvy influencers access to an edited "Dark Ride" list of restaurants, clubs, bars and lifestyle brands. Brand partners include Duncan Quinn bespoke suits, VeeV Acai Spirit, The James Hotel and Grand Hospitality for The Soho and Tribeca Grand Hotels.

What do you think?
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3 comments:

  (347) posted on 05.18.2010

Official EPA mileage numbers aren’t available yet, but Lexus said it expects the CT 200h, which will be the company’s fifth hybrid model, will lead its class in fuel economy.

  (666) posted on 05.17.2010

Never knew with this sort of thing, this the Dark Ride is totally got those quality, with strong acting and plenty of great little touches especially the whole EV/Stealth mode and being able to use your computer microphone to speak your own dialogue. Really cool!

  (808) posted on 05.16.2010

Looks pretty good, it’s about time that the compact luxury cars came to the US. It may be smaller but it is probably less aerodynamic, which may mean it doesn’t get better mpg than the Prius, but I sure hope it does. I’m looking forward to finding out MPG and MSRP.

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