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How Lexus Australia inspired electric vehicle adoption through interactive storytelling

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By Awards Analyst, writer

December 6, 2022 | 7 min read

Lexus Australia won at The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising APAC 2022 in the Automotive and Transportation category for its ‘Uncompromised Elegance’ campaign, created in partnership with BBC StoryWorks. Here, we dig into how the project came to life.

Lexus

Lexus seeks to balance performance with sustainability in ‘Uncompromised Elegance’ / Lexus

Lexus Australia teamed up with BBC StoryWorks to tell a series of engaging stories that invited consumers to see the power of pairing sustainability with luxury – while promoting the brand’s all-electric UX 300e SUV.

The brief

Lexus Australia sought to raise awareness about its new UX 300e, the first all-electric Lexus model to enter the Australian market. In particular, the luxury automaker hoped to find a powerful way to connect with its target audience of affluent car enthusiasts in a way that communicated that style, performance and quality need not be sacrificed for sustainability.

At the same time, the brand needed to address low awareness about Australia’s electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and educate potential buyers about how electric vehicle charging works.

All of these objectives had to be met while connecting audiences to Lexus’ luxury brand image.

The idea

The brand tapped BBC StoryWorks – the creative content studio at BBC Global News – to help materialize its vision. Conscious that too much focus on the brand and the vehicle would come across as too sales-forward, the team decided to focus on aligning the brand with the overarching ethos of sustainability and other brands on the cutting edge of sustainability.

To that end, the studio developed a branded content campaign entitled ‘Uncompromised Elegance,’ which centered on three articles, including one dynamic story that featured an animated map. Each article focused on communicating the message that making sustainable consumer decisions doesn’t require compromising on style, luxury, or performance.

The top-performing story centered on low-impact architecture and regional architects who are focused on designing sustainable homes suitable to both urban and rural areas. Retaining a focus on human-centric storytelling, the article engaged readers who were interested in the marriage of sustainability and design – a message that resonated with the brand’s high-level campaign objectives. The second article told the story of Emmanuel Bernados, who manages Jaan by Kirk Westaway, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Singapore that embodies the Japanese concept of omotenashi, or thoughtful hospitality. The story aimed to marry the idea of omotenashi with Lexus’ service-focused customer experience.

The centerpiece of the series was an interactive story showcasing a road trip itinerary through New South Wales. It spotlighted the UX 300e’s performance while highlighting popular regional attractions and charging points. Throughout the itinerary, Lexus also elevated partner brands including charging company ChargeFox and the Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley resort. An animated map visualized the route and invited readers to interact with the story.

This story also focused on educating consumers about EV capabilities and charging, since the team found consumer research suggesting that 80% of Australians underestimate the range capabilities of EVs. It also sought to raise awareness about Australia’s growing EV charging infrastructure – a project that the government has poured resources into in recent years. Ultimately, Lexus hoped that focusing on this kind of education would help convey the accessibility and ease of EV ownership in Australia.

The results

The ‘Uncompromised Elegance’ campaign saw impressive results across the board.

For one, its reach and engagement numbers surpassed expectations. The articles exceeded page view targets by nearly 30% and saw an average dwell time of 3:26 across all three stories. The campaign drove post-campaign actions, too: after being exposed to the content, 83% of consumers were incentivized to take some follow-on action such as visiting the Lexus website, sharing the content on social media or discussing the articles with others. These findings indicate that the effort inspired strong consideration among Lexus’ target audience.

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The most popular story in the series, ‘Architecture of Low-Impact’, underwent BBC StoryWorks’ branded content study, Science of Engagement, which evaluates effectiveness. The study found a 69% lift in top-of-mind brand awareness – a figure three times higher than the brand’s benchmark goal. It found an 89% increase in agreement among consumers that Lexus is an environmentally-sustainable brand and a 53% uptick in agreement that the UX 300e is full of features.

The study also revealed broader impacts on how the campaign addressed consumers’ preconceived notions of EVs and EV ownership. It revealed a 79% increase in the belief among respondents that there are no longer any barriers to purchasing an EV and a 63% boost in the belief that there are many places to charge an EV in Australia.

How Lexus Australia inspired electric vehicle adoption through interactive storytelling

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising APAC 2022. You can see all the winners here. The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

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