Lexus Races Real IS Hybrid On Virtual Track

A mashup of video game, online promotion and Formula racing is the basis of a new Lexus online film and broadcast ad effort called “Trace Your Road,” in which an F1 driver attempts to drive a virtual track in a real Lexus IS Hybrid.

As he drives around in a gigantic airplane hanger, the person in the right seat makes route changes on a tablet. The F1 driver doing the work is Jarno Trulli.

In the spot, Trulli is shown racing on a series of improvised racetracks, each one designed on a touch tablet in real-time by one of 10 contest winners.

The ad, produced by Lexus’ Italian division, brought in New York-based agency Fake Love for the visuals, projections and interactivity for the campaign; Los Angeles and New York-based Logan for live action; and Milan-based Movie Magic International for production for the spots and the behind-the-scenes documentary.

Lexus Italy selected the 10 finalists from applicants on Lexus’ Facebook page, per the company. In the spot Trulli careens around the hanger, following a light trail. You can see the trail simultaneously traced on a touch tablet by the passenger/contestant. The traced routes are immediately projected onto the hanger floor by a collection of 12-20K and 22K projectors.

The “Trace Your Road” creative, online and broadcast effort was overseen by Saatchi & Saatchi Italy. It has 15-second, 30-second, 60-second and 1:20 iterations.

The automaker last week did another high-tech live production in New York timed with Fashion Week. The program, which touted the 2014 IS sedan was a mix of holographic visuals and a live movement performance by model Coca Rocha.

The performance, done on an impromptu stage, involved Rocha and a pair of supporting dancers doing movements behind a holographic screen. The event, “Lexus Design Disrupted,” also constituted a Giles Deacon design retrospective. That event was done with the help of multimedia studio Legs.

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