Lexus uses "The Art of Engagement" to lure customers

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NEW YORK -- Keynote speaker Deborah Wahl-Meyer's presentation on Lexus at ad:tech New York continued "The Art of Engagement" theme from the show's San Francisco and Chicago events earlier this year.

The vice president of marketing at Lexus gave examples of how she used the Internet to create a dialog between the Toyota-owned luxury brand and consumers.

Take the campaign to introduce the new Lexus IS sedan. The company invited consumers to visit the site at and send their favorite shots to win a free car. The images are posted online and also on the Reuters board in New York's Times Square.

The effort worked. More than 750,000 consumers visited the site and nearly 100,000 images are up. The mosaic comprises photos of consumers with their families or doing things they love.

Lexus will run that promotion through Thanksgiving Day.

Another dialogue-creating measure was enabling a Q&A session online with Lexus' chief engineer. About 200 questions were asked and 91,000 people looked at the Q&A pages. Another chat on auto site enticed 400 people to login to confab with a senior Lexus North America executive.

These initiatives were introduced a couple of months ahead of the new Lexus IS' launch. The Q&A particularly worked like a pre-qualifier.

"It allowed people to get out a lot of questions about the car that they didn't like," Wahl-Meyer said. "These chats gave us an opportunity to address it."

So not only were the issues clarified, but the online efforts drove many prospects and customers to Lexus showrooms.

"We proved to our dealers we can do anything other than TV to drive traffic to stores," Wahl-Meyer said.

Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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