If you leave cable news on in the background while you work, like I do, there's a chance you'll see an ad for the 2013 LS. I'm not gunning to be Jalopnik's car commercial critic, but let's consider what we're seeing in this ad versus what used to be able to sell a Lexus LS.
First, the history. Lexus used to be good at selling its cars using outrageously good, potentially smug, commercials. The LS was launched in 1989 as a supremely engineered rival for the European establishment, and showed them up by being even better put together than a Mercedes or BMW. To demonstrate how smooth your engine was when revved, what better than a few champagne glasses to illustrate the point?
Fast forward, and the fifth-generation model is has more chiseled lines, and a pinched face to give it that angry look people seem to find so appealing. There's also a "sport" model in the form of the F Sport line, and a new take on an ad campaign.
Lexus isn't selling refinement to the bankers and brokers who buy the LS. Actually, they want this specific type of silver fox with a younger-looking woman on his side all of time. You know, the kind who can afford to take a swim in the middle of a Tuesday and be the only person on a rooftop parking garage one afternoon. You know, that guy.
It's a classic case of promoting style over substance, except I feel like this guy, with the kind of swagger he has, would probably be more suited to a Jaaaaag XJ. Or even an AMG S-Class. A Lexus LS, no matter how F Sport-ed out, is all about the refinement, excitement be damned. You know, for the kind of guy who probably watches CNBC for hours during the day. On top of that, while I think the standard LS holds up well in the looks and equipment categories against ordinary 7-series, S-Classes, A8s, the F Sport is uglier than the equivalent sport models from competing companies.
In luxury car ads especially, I see companies using actors who are fairly spot-on for the target demographic they want to lure with those cars. Those Acura ILX commercials had 20-something guys in both work and party situations, and that's exactly the sort of yuppie Acura say they want for that car.
So does Lexus want a 50-something guy with a 30-something wife on his arm for the LS F Sport? I'm guessing yes.