Lexus “Moments” Commercial: An Ad Report Card

The Spot
The commercial begins with the narrator saying “A moment, if you please,” while “A MOMENT” is displayed in white letters on a black background. The narrator then describes various types of moments while they are displayed on-screen. Some examples include: “Moments can be long,” while showing a depressed man; “Moments of joy,” while a soldier reunites with his wife; “Moments of passion,” while a couple dances; “Moments you’ll never forget, moments you’ve already forgotten,” while showing a man being lifted by an elephant and then a boring, dull lunch.

A moment, if you please.

A moment, if you please.

Eventually the narrator says, “If all the stars align at just the right moment, that moment can be perfect,” while a surfer is shown riding a huge wave. Finally a Lexus car is shown driving along a rode as the narrator says, “Moments can change your life, so here’s to the moment, and squeezing all you can out of every last single one of them. Pursue the moment. Lexus: the pursuit of perfection.” The Lexus logo is then shown in white on a black background. This commercial can be viewed here

The Challenge
A typical car commercial is something that we all know so well. A driver is shown swerving in and our of sharp turns through a sleek city or picturesque landscape with the car slowing down or coming to a stop somewhere in the focus of the camera. These commercials are so common I’m you’re having no trouble picturing it in your head right now (but just in case, here’s one).

The point I’m trying to make here is that we’re so used to these types of commercials that they’re hardly effective in reaching us, and often, because we’ve seen them so much, we’re so zoned out that we don’t even notice the brand of the car.

That said, I think the challenge Lexus faced was making a commercial that could stand out, while still portraying the luxury that is associated with Lexus cars.

The Idea
The idea that Lexus is trying to portray here is that life is made up of a variety of moments. Some are good, some are bad, and occasionally when everything comes together we all have a moment that is just perfect. Lexus cars embody and can provide these perfect moments.Lexus Logo 3

The Execution
This Lexus commercial displays many different types of moments, good and bad, that most people have experienced on some level.

The ad plays with our emotions by bringing us up and down with the good and bad moments before coming to an ultimate high with “the perfect moment” that can “change your life” and showing the Lexus car.

By focusing on the moments and emotions that go along with them this ad effectively strays away from the typical car commercial mentioned above.

What Works
This is the first commercial I can remember enjoying and truly being moved by. The emotional roller coaster that it takes viewers on really works to generate interest in the commercial and in Lexus. The Lexus car isn’t even shown until the :36 second mark and the Lexus logo isn’t shown until :44 seconds. By this time viewers are so drawn in that they can’t help but watch.

Not showing that it is a car commercial right away is effective because had Lexus done so, viewers likely would not be as interested in the commercial, no matter how great it may be.

I think the videos used to illustrate different moments work very well. I have already mentioned several examples in the spot so I will refrain from listing them again. I will say; however, that I think the video of the surfer on the huge wave is a really powerful image of everything coming together for the perfect moment right before introducing the Lexus car.surfing

Like a surfer, a driver needs perfect conditions, control, timing, and a sense of adventure. With all of these things driving on an open road can be a perfect moment.

Creatively, I think this commercial is very well done. Most of the videos used seem to be homemade footage. This can really help viewers identify with the emotions in the moments.

What Doesn’t Work
Honestly, I can’t think of anything that doesn’t work in this commercial. It fits together very nicely, the creative work is excellent, and it’s not a typical car commercial. If you have any issues with this commercial please comment on this post, I’m interested to know what you think.

Final Grade
I give this commercial 10 out of 10 perfect moments. As detailed above, I think this commercial works really well as a whole and stands out among other car commercials. In effect, the Lexus brand stands out as well. This commercial is one of those rare moments that Lexus mentioned where everything comes together just perfectly.


Walmart: Inexpensive, But Not Cheap

I’d like to start this post with a disclaimer: I hate commercials. I don’t watch much Television, so I don’t see a lot of commercials. It’s nice. When I do watch TV, I press mute during commercials. That said, I understand the reasons for commercials and that there are lots of effective commercials. Here’s one:

The Spot
Outside of a Walmart the host introduces the theme, Walmarts “Low Price Guarantee,” and the star of the commercial, Lainie N. from Illinois. They move inside to start comparing Walmart’s prices with Lainie’s receipt from another store. First they check out breakfast sausage, and then orange juice.

The host explains that Walmart will match lower advertised prices from competitors at the register, and that they have “everyday low prices.” The pair is then shown with a full cart walking towards the checkout. Then comes the moment of truth as Lainie finds out just how much she saved with Walmart.

The host then invites viewers to bring in their last receipt to find out how much they could save. (This commercial can be found by searching “Low price guarantee Lainie” on YouTube).

The Problem
According to this article from Business Insider, in the mid 2000s Walmart had to rebrand itself in order to shed the “cheap” image that was associated with it. They needed to put a positive spin on their low prices to show that Walmart was inexpensive, but not cheap.

The Idea
The idea of this commercial is to highlight Walmart’s “Low Price Guarantee,” which is backed by it’s “Ad Match” policy, and how much money one can save by shopping at Walmart. The purpose of the commercial is to show a customer being shocked at Walmart’s low prices, while still being satisfied with the product.

The Execution
Walmart strives to rebrand itself through this commercial, which is one in a series of many highlighting the “Low Price Guarantee.” This commercial shows an actual Walmart shopper instead of an actor, though it does say in fine print that Lainie was compensated for her time. Still, using an actual customer makes it easier for viewers to identify with the commercial and accept the message.

Walmart's Low Price Guarantee Policy

Walmart’s Ad Match Policy

The commercial shows Lainie checking out different products and being very surprised with the prices. “That’s a great price!” She exclaims as the host points out the price of sausage. Another effective piece used in this commercial is the image of Lainie having her receipt from another store. This reinforces the idea that not only are Walmart’s prices great, but they’re better than competitors’ prices.

There is one thing that really stands out to me in the execution of this commercial; the host actually uses and shows brand name products in the commercial. The sausages are Jimmy Dean products, a recognized brand in the United States. The orange juice featured is Simply Orange Juice, a product recognizable even here in Canada.

What Works?
I think that this commercial works really well as a whole. Using the techniques detailed above, Walmart effectively communicates the fact that they have low prices, but this is not something they’re ashamed of, nor something customers should be afraid of.

By using specific, recognized brand names this commercial helps to further emphasize the inexpensive vs. cheap product comparison.

Receipt Comparison

Receipt Comparison

The whole commercial conveys the idea that Walmart has low prices. One way that they drive this home, which seemed really effective to me, is at the end of the commercial when the host invites viewers to “see for yourself, bring in your last receipt [and] see how much you could save.” This call to action should certainly generate interest and response among the target audience.

What Doesn’t Work?
To be honest, I couldn’t really find much that I thought didn’t work in this commercial. It is very fast paced at times, which might be a problem for some, but I like it. If anything, I might show the price of Lainie’s Walmart trip in comparison with her receipt from another store to drive home the point even more, but other than that I think the ad is good as is.

Final Grade:grade-a-minus
A-. If Walmart wants to rebrand themselves and establish the fact that they are inexpensive but not cheap, this commercial, and the others like it, work really well. I think this commercial is effective in making consumers really rethink Walmart, and consider the money they might be able to save by shopping there.

It actually makes me want to compare my receipts with Walmart’s prices, and I’m not even in the target demographic. I may just do so one day. Would you?