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Lexus: Social Test Drive

by Nick Afseus on 22 August 2012

People love talking about driving a Lexus.

In our listening audit for the company, we found that the majority of Lexus conversation in social media focused on the experience of being behind the wheel of their luxury, hybrid and concept cars. However, we also discovered something surprising: people hardly talked about their test drives at all. At just the moment when they should be buzzing with excitement at trying out a new ride, they weren’t.

The solution? The Lexus Social Test Drive: giving the conventional test drive an innovative social boost.

Unlike your average test drive, the social test drive is highly bespoke. By understanding the individual needs, personality and preferences of each driver, we developed a range of customised options such as night time drives, extended test drive periods of up to 24 hours, car delivery and pick-up at an address convenient to the driver, and a personalised social test drive MPG score card upon completion of the trial.

Next, we needed to find the right audience. Social media monitoring and profiling allowed us to identify and engage with vocal, social people who were actively talking about the fact that they were considering purchasing a car. They were offered free bespoke social test drives, all arranged over Twitter. All they had to do was turn up at their closest Lexus centre and enjoy the experience.

To give the campaign an extra boost, we identified a smaller number of highly networked people who loved cars, driving and their families. We invited them to go on bespoke ‘hero test drives’, crafting a personalised experience based on each family’s passions and lifestyle; examples were as a day out for the whole family at a safari park, or free use of a Lexus for an entire weekend.

The reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Each completed social test drive generated not only positive word of mouth across social media but active recommendations from the drivers to their own communities to try the car, sparking further interest and new bookings. Just one example of the word of mouth came from one of the UK’s top parenting bloggers, Tara Cain, whose blog post cited the Hero Test Drive as an outstanding example to other brands hoping to inspire love and loyalty.

#SocialTestDrive generated over 374,000 social connections, with more than 700 posts talking about the initiative – 98% of those being positive. All this helped boost conversation about the Lexus test drive experience by over 300%.

The test drive just got social.

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  • http://goo.gl/EZfRQ Enterprise Mobile Hub

    Informative post! Thanks for sharing! 

  • http://twitter.com/alexlgeorgiou Alex

    Have they bought the vehicles?

  • http://twitter.com/1000heads 1000heads

    Thanks for the question Alex. Sales data wasn’t available at the time of reporting. However, the folks in our community team, who liaised with the social test drivers personally, did continually pick up notes of thanks and positive feedback that the Lexus was now shortlisted for the next purchase.