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Future Taste of Lexus Events Cancelled

Beginning this year, Lexus USA will be replacing their annual Taste of Lexus travelling test drive events with a series of three separate tours, as they try to bring the focus back on the vehicles and not the event itself:

“People were coming because we were giving three to four hours of entertainment value.” As a result, he says, the percentage of lead generation that Lexus was getting from the program wasn’t as strong as it had been. “We were getting lots of owners,” he [Brian Bolain, national interactive and automotive events manager] says.

Instead of one tour in the summer, surrounding Lexus vehicles with epicurean and prestige brands, Lexus will now do three separate tours during the course of the year, each focusing squarely on the cars. The tours will also use an “intercept” approach: instead of Lexus creating its own event and doing mass mailings to generate its own traffic, the company will do “pop ups” that bring its vehicles to venues owned by complementary brands.

Bolain says the first tour, featuring the new performance-tuned IS-F and GS 460 sedans, will comprise four racetrack components. The test-drive will visit eight markets.

It seems the main problem was that owners were making up the majority of the event visitors, in some cases it was as high as 75% owners vs. potential customers. The article also mentions that the first tour, featuring the IS-F and GS 460, will be visiting locations like high-end fitness centers, a strange venue if I’ve ever heard one.

Really, it’s events like Taste of Lexus that can keep current customers in the fold, and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to drop it entirely. Why not run the tours concurrently?

[Source: Marketing Daily]

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