Malcolm Gladwell, #1 New York Times bestselling author, long-time New Yorker writer, and host of the podcast Revisionist History®, is a self-proclaimed car nut. Which made him the perfect host to collaborate with Lexus for a six-part podcast which launched on March 5.
The podcast title, “Go and See”, is an approximate translation of the Japanese “genchi genbutsu,” or “go and see for yourself.” The idea stems from the belief that a person will have a better understanding of people and how to create something for them from actual personal experience. In the series, Lexus invites Gladwell to Japan to discover their unconventional thinking and processes firsthand in the exclusive behind the scenes look at the luxury automaker.
“Human-centered design has been a Lexus core value since inception, and this has led to some interesting and original approaches through the years,” said Lisa Materazzo, vice president of marketing at Lexus. “Malcolm Gladwell’s curiosity is contagious and we are so pleased that he accepted our invitation to take a closer look at Lexus. I believe he was able to gain an understanding of how we learn by studying people. The resulting podcast series is truly intriguing.”
Gladwell’s unique storytelling ability shines as he explores how culture and engineering merge at Lexus. The podcast series follows Gladwell as he travels to the luxury brand’s headquarters in Japan, explores a top-secret racetrack, and shadows engineers and executives. All while gaining firsthand exposure to how the brand takes learning from research on human behavior and processes that have set the brand apart.
Each episode dives deep into unique elements of the luxury automaker’s identity, from how a Japanese tea ceremony influenced the engineering of a car window; to the musical composition of a coupe’s engine and the emotions it elicits. ”Go and See” offers car nuts like Gladwell, and anyone who is simply curious, a true appreciation of the exceptional craftsmanship behind the Lexus badge.
“I once had a Lexus sports car and loved it. But after I gave it up, I didn’t really give them much more thought,” said Gladwell. “In Japan, I saw firsthand just how much thought and cultural know-how and expertise goes into the final product.”
Recorded over 10 weeks from December through February, Gladwell’s own Pushkin Industries® produced the six-part series in partnership with Lexus. The first episode is available as of March 5, 2020, and new episodes will launch each Thursday. Listeners can stream or download the series from Apple Podcasts®, Radio.com®, Google Podcasts, Spotify®, Pandora®, Pocketcast, Stitcher®, iHeartRadio®, Castbox®, NPR One®, Web Players and more.
Lexus agency of record Team One led this effort, from ideation through execution alongside Gladwell and his team.