When Lexus launched the new NX it was as much a work of modern art as a crossover car
Lexus required an eye-catching campaign to attract a new audience of media, technology and design-savvy drivers and to reach this highly sophisticated audience we needed to ‘go further’ with a ground-breaking digital interaction that showcased the unique design, and driving experience of the Lexus NX.
Lexus required a tightly integrated campaign built around three activation points:
- The NX campaign website
- Branded mobile apps
- A daring virtual reality experience in Oculus Rift.
A social thread helped amplify the campaign through users’ own channels, and the result generated leads and built an engaged, intrigued conquest audience ahead of the car’s arrival.
Supporting the main Striking Angles marketing campaign featuring will.i.am, and the progressively unlocking campaign hub of the NX campaign website, we created a digital first for the industry – an interactive experience with two state of the art virtual reality elements:
- Head motion controlled personalised car configurator, which enabled customers to virtually configure and view their own NX.
- An immersive 360-degree virtual driving experience, a drive through a multi-dimensional and highly stylised urban landscape.
Oculus Rift Experience
With Oculus Rift we were pushing the boundaries of computer generated imagery and generated six miles of fully realised 3D roads and city environments built in Unreal Engine 4 CGI.
The NX itself was rendered from CAD files, before a path was chosen for it to drive and camera placements positioned.
Animated backgrounds were developed using a Flat Surface Shader rendered on an HTML5 Canvas, giving us the control and ability to tweak materials, lighting and camera positions in real time for instant testing.
It also allowed flexibility with our templates and codes to integrate more specific features, such as the online 360-degree video translation of the pre-rendered OR journey.
Every detail was meticulously planned and tested against the strict criteria for a sophisticated and inspiring VR experience. An underlying narrative was also added to the city drive to inject an element of surprise. All back-end work was handled internally, as was the huge amount of upfront planning needed to coordinate the updates and pan-European rollout.
Branded Mobile Apps
The Lexus NX campaign has been deemed a huge success. The digital campaign helped to achieve the pre-sales target 3 months ahead of schedule and the campaign has been shortlisted for, and won a number of industry awards.
Following on from the success of this campaign, in March 2015, Lexus asked Amaze to continue to push the boundaries of 360-degree virtual reality, this time for the launch of their brand new high-performance model, the RC-F.
We produced a highly cinematic experience this time, with a virtual reality shoot set in the beautiful Ascari racetrack in Spain via multiple cameras outside the car and trackside.
It's a process that has never been employed before, making it one of the most elaborate virtual videos ever created. The experience can be used with either the Oculus Rift headset or via an interactive mobile app, for iOS and Android for an enhanced customer driving experience.
“The ground-breaking new technology, which provides consumers with an immersive virtual experience, very much mirrors the tone and stylisations of the Lexus Striking Angles campaign. It is an integral part of the launch – offering consumers a unique and personal way to experience the NX."