Product / ServiceFC
CategoryA03. Cars & Automotive Products & Services
Idea Creation M&C SAATCHI Sydney, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Andy DiLallo M&C Saaatchi Chief Creative Officer
Ben Welsh M&C Saatchi Executive Creative Director
Michael Canning M&C Saatchi Executive Creative Director
Chris Little M&C Saatchi Creative Director
Phil Leece M&C Saatchi Creative Group Head
Chris Cheeseman M&C Saatchi Senior Art Director
Nick Russo M&C Saatchi Group Head
Lill Ireland M&C Saatchi TV Prdoucer
Matt Willis M&C Saatchi Executive Digital Design Director
James Jamias M&C Saatchi Senior Digital Designer
Richard Sellies M&C Saatchi Digital Designer
Jason Ah Tow M&C Saatchi Art Director (Digital Work)
Leandro Pereira M&C Saatchi Writer (digital work)
Ben Cooper M&C Saatchi Group Innovation Director
Michael Sinclair M&C Saatchi Strategy Director

The Campaign

The all-new Lexus RC F, a 5.0L V8 performance coupe, is the purest embodiment of the F philosophy, so we set about developing a way to show the world exactly how thrilling it is to drive. We combined a selection of major panels from the car, an experimental electroluminescent paint, custom shields, wireless heart monitors and biometrics to display the driver’s heart rate on the outside of the car in real time. Then raced it, at night. It was irrefutable, a physical response of pure enjoyment that was on display to the world as opposed to a set of questionable performance figures or obscure telemetry. By leveraging these breakthrough technologies, we had created the world’s first car with a heartbeat.

Creative Execution

By utilising wireless heart monitoring technology, we were able to connect and display the driver’s heart rate to the electroluminescent paint on outside of the car in real time. An animation sequence was designed using a microcontroller board via a custom shield that controlled the sequence and managed power. With the compatible heartbeat monitor, the driver’s BPM was sent to the microcontroller for animation. By leveraging these breakthrough technologies, we had created the world’s first car with a heartbeat. This physical digital product was the centrepiece of a PR and partnership push that kicked off in July, 2015. It launched through highly-focused outreach to the most influential technology, design, and global lifestyle journalists. As the project built momentum, focused on views and shares of the high-octane film, Lexus then accelerated its reach to potential buyers through a targeted creative partnership with News Corp. The total reach was over 110 million media

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results

This world first got people talking, with over 110m earned media impressions, and it drove sales, and shifted brand perceptions. The Lexus RC launched strongly, with just under 100 vehicles sold nationally in its first two months. And sales did not tail off, the Heartbeat Car project helped lift market share of the RC by 23.5%. And this is not a blip, shifting average market share from 7.7% - 9 months before the campaign – to 9.5% - 9 months after the campaign. It has also undoubtedly contributed to broader Lexus sales, with the brand breaking sales records throughout 2015 and into the first quarter of 2016. Perhaps most importantly, this brand lift was most marked on one of the more personal and, arguably, hardest to shift category metrics Lexus tracks: whether brands express how drivers want to be seen. Simply put, Lexus does for more drivers now than ever before.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service

We created the world’s first car with a heartbeat. The all-new Lexus RC-F, a 5.0L V8 performance coupe, is the purest embodiment of the Lexus F division performance philosophy. We set about developing a way to show the world exactly hwo thrilling it is to drive, changing the performance conversation from specifications and outputs of the car, to a physical reaction when you connect the car and driver. We connected wireless heart monitors to electroluminescent paint on the outside of the car to display the driver’s heart rate in real time. It was irrefutable proof of the pure, physical enjoyment of the Lexus RC-F.

The first strategic decision was structural. Rather than attempt a ‘big bang’ launch approach with a comparatively modest media budget, we would instead try to engineer presence for the RC across the calendar year. The launch was also an opportunity to continue making in-roads with critically important ‘step-up’ luxury buyers. Our aim was to broaden our audience from car enthusiasts to young, sophisticated, style-conscious Australians looking to make their first luxury car purchase. With this new target audience in mind we needed to start a conversation around the Lexus RC with the disruptiveness and credibility necessary to shift people’s perceptions of the Lexus brand.


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