Saatchis creates Lexus 'cocoon'

Saatchi & Saatchi is positioning Lexus cars as a "third space", which cocoons the driver and makes the outside world cease to exist, in a new TV branding campaign for the Toyota marque.

The campaign, which incorporates one 60- and one 40-second ad, builds on the strapline, "It's the feeling inside", first introduced by Saatchis in 2000 to highlight the sense of satisfaction felt by Lexus drivers.

Launching on 6 May, the ads will run nationwide for three months and will be supported by advertising in the lifestyle press. Media planning and buying is handled by Zenith Media.

Zenith's strategic planner, Richard Monk, said: "Concentrated TV work is the best way for us to build a brand personality for Lexus."

The spot shows famous scenes of Rome, which are strangely empty and devoid of the bustle of a tourist city.

A lone car, the Lexus SC430, drives through the empty landscape, the driver looking completely at ease as he pulls into an empty piazza. When he opens the door, the tone and mood changes as the screen explodes into life and noise.

He shoulders his way through the crowd to buy a paper and returns to his car. When the door slams, the scene reverts to the calmness of the deserted town.

The Lexus GB general manager of marketing, David Brimson, said the campaign was about creating a sense of "must-have

around the Lexus brand.

"It's all about bringing the Lexus customer experience to life. Here we're using our halo model to dramatise the values of a brand built upon product and service and to demonstrate that today, Lexus is as much about desire and sensuality as it is about build quality and specification,

he added.

The work was written by Gavin Kellet and art directed by Nik Studzinsky. It was directed by Carl Eric Rinsch through RSA Films.