In late November, 2012, Lexus announced its partnership with The Weinstein Company, a unique relationship for the automobile brand in various ways. In an effort to extend its brand experience past the driver’s wheel, Lexus joined with TWC to produce five short films that together form a global series themed “Life is Amazing.” The featured filmmakers represent different parts of the global, including the United States, Europe, Asia Pacific, China and Japan, and were selected by TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein, along with TWC COO David Glasse and Lexus Media Manager Teri Hill.
The premiere of Lexus Short Films occurred last Thursday, marked by an event held at the Director’s Guild of America Theater in Los Angeles and attended by big names such as Harvey Weinstein, David Glasser, David O. Russell (Oscar-nominated director of Silver Linings Playbook), and Chris Tucker. Two of the selected directors were celebrated at the event. With the Oscars three days away, there was no better moment to introduce these worldly films.
The first was American Justin Tipping who showcased his Swimming in Air, a short film focused on enamored children and their dreams of flying. Spanish director, Christina Molino (pictured below), presented Beyond Memories, a project that delves into attachment and the unforgettable. Interestingly enough, Molino told The Hollywood Reporter that she believes her work (and the work of other filmmakers) to be influenced by multiple cultures around the world, not just her own.
The subsequent film will be envisioned by directors Campbell Hooper and Joel Kefali (pictured above), a team that represents the studio Special Problems. Their story, along with the stories of the previous directors mentioned, can be seen on the Lexus Short Films website. In addition, the Lexus International YouTube page is releasing Production Diary videos from each of the filmmakers, permitting more intimate views of their development processes. As for the remaining filmmakers, one is stated by The Hollywood Reporter as being Japanese director Mitsuyo Miyazaki, from which we can expect a short combining live action and animation.
The internationality reflected in the multicultural ensemble of filmmakers and their experiences is a key aspect of the project. Lexus has already displayed its commitment to marketing by association and visual story-telling, but Lexus Short Films combines these two strategies while simultaneously adding the modernity of global community. The foundation of both culture and film is story-telling, a tactic which Lexus has always been employing in hopes of instigating brand loyalty and emotional connectivity in their target audience. With this project, however, that audience spans the globe and the brand’s efforts are not only discovering new talent, but also sharing it with the rest of the world.
Along with naming Lexus the “Official Automobile Partner” of The Weinstein Company, the deal also includes Lexus in various premieres, festivals, and screenings throughout the year. Furthermore, Harvey Weinstein himself will be driving a Lexus vehicle in an effort to showcase that the vehicles’ elements, styles and options mesh perfectly with luxurious, on-the-go professionals.
This type of partnership is a first for Lexus. It is all in an effort to build a brand that does not live solely within the vehicle, but rather one that “inspire[s] and surprise[s] consumers every time they experience the brand.” Mark Templin, General Manager of Lexus International, seems quite thrilled about the endeavor. He explained that the joint venture:
Celebrate[s] the creativity, imagination and passion of these filmmakers. We’re proud to be bringing these stories to life as part of this new and dynamic chapter of our brand.
And it seems that both sides are on the same page. Harvey Weinstein similarly commented:
We couldn’t be more delighted to be working together with Lexus on this endeavor. They have always been pioneers in the auto industry with new and inventive ideas, and this project is no exception to that way of thinking.
These remarks encompass the entire strategy, one of association between the ingenuity of design and filmmakers’ imaginations, both artistic and both wanting of global visibility and acceptance.