Powerhouse Partnerships

What could Lexus and Wakanda — Marvel’s high-tech utopian kingdom from their 2018 Oscar-nominated cultural zeitgeist, Black Panther — possibly have in common?

As it turns out — a lot.

Innovative technology, high-performing luxury vehicles fit for a king and amazing experiences are a few similarities that sealed the deal when the powerhouses were presented the opportunity to integrate and establish a co-promotional partnership.

Together, they started their impossible.

Black Panther, Hollywood’s first major superhero movie featuring a largely black cast and black actor in its lead role, featured Lexus LC 500 and GS F models. Marvel’s King T’Challa and Wakanda’s fierce female warriors navigate the vehicles through epic chase scenes, drawing the connection between stature, power and aspirational technology. Along with a custom Super Bowl spot featuring the Lexus LS 500 flagship sedan and Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, it drove Lexus social community growth dramatically — 1.2 million fans in February 2018 alone.

Multicultural marketing researcher Sonja Martin Poole says marketing to culturally diverse audiences requires authenticity. Lexus has long recognized the value, power and prominence of multicultural consumers, making this partnership a natural and welcomed progression of its established relationship.

“I could see this being an investment in the younger market,” said Poole. “Even though the 15- and 18-year-olds aren’t going to be able to buy a Lexus, by doing this you are implanting this aspiration.”

“We wanted to raise awareness and love of the Lexus brand for future buyers and also build a story around innovation and technological advancement for our consumers who are thought-leaders, early adopters of new technology and automotive enthusiasts,” confirms Lexus marketing media manager MaryJane Kroll.

ComScore Brand Study estimated the prominent brand integration earned over $28 million in media value, garnering positive reactions and building future generations of consumers with affection for the Lexus brand.

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