As a luxury brand it’s hard enough maintaining the mystique of exclusivity in the physical marketplace, let alone the crowded digital one, but Lexus recently showed us how it’s done. The #LexusInstafilm project, a stop-motion car commercial composed of 350 photos taken – on set – by 212 participating Instagram users, has been one of the most clever uses of Instagram by a brand this year.
Each photo was hashtagged according to its sequence in the video, and each was given a filter of choice by its shooter. The resulting commercial is a stylish collaboration between amateurs and professionals, and a daring experiment with the Instagram medium.
Lexus gained over a thousand followers on Instagram following the #LexusInstafilm campaign, rising to a still modest number of 6,761 followers. With Lexus making this creative leap on Instagram, one wonders what other luxury car brands are doing with the photo sharing medium…
- BMW has harnessed its Instagram profile rather well (over 442,000 followers), taking full advantage of the nostalgia engine inherent to the platform and showcasing their newly released i3 electric car with some appropriately futuristic artistry. The overall message seems to be “Relax, bro, you’re driving a high-performance BMW.”
- Mercedez-Benz (354,655 followers on Instagram) takes a similar Instagram approach to BMW with their “good times, great oldies” look, but with more golfers and puppies. The golfer Instagrams are consistently less popular than the car Instagrams, which are often, and unsurprisingly, less popular than the puppies.
- Jaguar (23,355 followers on Instagram) Much like their ambiguously talented musical partner Lana Del Rey, Jaguar still fights to regain the trust of consumers wary of their shaky past. One aspect of Jaguar’s Instagramming that their competitors lack is an emphasis on their British origin with #YourTurnBritain. It’s no secret that BMW and Mercedez tend not to overemphasize their Germanness, American luxury makers usually leave out the “Made in the USA” stamp, and Japanese competitors like Lexus would rather remain independent, so that leaves Jaguar in a nice spot to show off the regal charms of their British origins.
- Audi (504,882 followers on Instagram) works in some humor along with branding (who doesn’t love their logo in donuts?), but their Instagram profile reads much like all the rest – cool shots of their sleek cars parked in front of sleek backdrops, with the occasional sleek model posing sleekly.
Most of these brands are just kind of showing up and winning followers, and despite the artistry of this recent, inventive campaign, Lexus is still pretty far behind on Instagram (and has fallen to the number three spot from number one in luxury car sales between 2010 and 2012). They, and parent company Toyota, have been making big plays targeting younger markets, and so #InstaFilm is sure to be just the beginning of a much longer campaign to win over the next generation of luxury car buyers.
Check out the #LexusInstafilm video process here:
Is your brand using Instagram like everybody else is, or are you thinking of ways to innovate your use of the photo-sharing tool?