Will Lexus Alienate Long-Time Buyers with Flashier, Younger Ads?

Nov 25, 2014 02:10 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma


Lexus has taken something of a risk with its new marketing turn as the luxury brand looks to woo younger buyers.

With its initial audience now reaching retirement age, Lexus hopes to attract Gen X and Gen Y consumers with sexy, slick ad campaigns like its recent "No Good Deed" teaser for the Lexus IS sports sedan. Young, affluent buyers constitute a growing sales demographic that currently accounts for about a third of all luxury vehicle sales.

"It's definitely a risk that we're taking as a brand, but if we don't take risks like that, we won't be able to bring Gen X, Gen Y, young customers into our brand," Jeff Bracken, group vice president and general manager for the Lexus division, told the Detroit News. "We may lose a few of our traditional owners ... but if we don't, we'll never be able to grow."

One aspect that could be "polarizing" for customers is the new front--the well-known Lexus "spindle grille" has gradually become more distinct, something that could alienate long-time fans.

In the 25 years since its launch, Toyota's luxury brand has expanded from two models to 10. It expects to sell more than half a million vehicles in the U.S. this year.

According to Bracken, Lexus doesn't plan to offer vehicles for less than $30,000.

The luxury shift toward targeting younger buyers seems to be an industry trend. Lincoln recently announced its Black Label trim level aimed at affluent young customers who want premium materials.

A collection of four interior themes with upgraded leather and wood trim, Black Label is intended to offer a "members-only" experience, the car experience equivalent to a high-level credit card.

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