Lexus Is Bashing Social Media In Its Holiday Ads
Lexus is known for its holiday commercials with giant redbows atop their cars, but this year, they're changing it up – and it's been met with mixed reviews on social media networks. The luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation released three new commercials that ask you to step away from your favorite social network and take a drive in one of its vehicles this Holiday season.
"This December, remember, you can stay in and 'like' something," one commercial titled 'Dinner' begins, "or you can get out there with your family and actually 'like' something." A woman is shown surfing Pinterest, a content sharing service that allows members to 'pin' and 'like' images, and readying her mouse to 'like' a photograph of quail and vegetables.To Lexus's delight, she ditches her laptop, places her family into a red Lexus SUV and has them speed off to a restaurant, where she, ironically, 'likes' the very same plate of quail and veggies shown to her on Pinterest.
(In a stronger form of irony, one Lexus dealer actually encouraged its social following this past week to view pictures of Lexus vehicles on Pinterest. Talk about the ultimate "So what exactly should I do?")
Another video shows a man on a couch sharing a clip of his favorite band on YouTube when he suddenly has the urge to 'get out there with his friends and actually share something.' The crew is seen hopping into a red Lexus vehicle and heading off to watch this same band playing in a club. Who knew it was so easy to turn online content into a real life experience?
Facebook and Apple get in on the non-action in a third clip where a woman is seen holding an iPad debating whether she should 'Add A Friend' on Facebook. You guessed it: she gets into that magical red Lexus, finds the unfriended-online-guy at a gorgeous restaurant and has, what seems to be, a lovely dinner together with the man of her dreams.
The ads were noticed by quite a few Twitter users who took to the platform to voice their discontent. "Anyone else see the new Lexus commercials that totally disses Pinterest?" tweeted Sara Brunett (@BurnettsBoards). "How dare they!" questioned Corinne Carlson (@CorinneCarlson5). Twitter user Jared Mermey (@jaredMermey) wondered whether 'social media backlash will become a theme in old media' after seeing Lexus "take a shot at Pinterest."
The social media team at Lexus put CNBC.com in touch with a spokeswoman for the company. We inquired as to whether Lexus meant to bash social media and if it intended to poke a little bit at the online world that may get too caught up in new media.
Spokeswoman Nancy Hubbell told CNBC.com in an email: "The message is basically that connecting with people online is great, but for the holidays people should connect in person (and, of course, drive to their destination to do so.)"
What about the claims that Lexus is dissing people's favorite social networks?
"We're not dissing anything, just encouraging people to get out for the holidays," Hubbell said.
YouTube user Frosty Snowman, pleased with the new ads, commented, "Hands down by far the best." Leave it to someone named Frosty Snowman to voice optimism over a holiday commercial.
So, remember, reader, in your pursuit of perfection you can either share this article online with your family and friends or you can get out there, purchase a Lexus and take me out for dinner. Your call.