American Marketer


Lexus promotes vehicles, chauffeurs travelers via hotel partnership

April 13, 2011


Step right upJapanese automaker Lexus is promoting its new vehicles throughout the streets of Chicago by providing a fleet of vehicles exclusively for guests at the Elysian Hotel.

The luxury automaker has partnered with the Chicago-based Elysian to offer guests short complimentary jaunts around the city. Lexus is considered to be the official vehicle of the Elysian.

“The Elysian takes a very Lexus-like approach in providing their guests with an unprecedented luxury experience,” said Sean Kelley, merchandising manager at Lexus Central Area for Toyota Motor Sales, Chicago.

“Aligning with a luxury brand like the Elysian helps us create awareness with their guests, most of whom are in our target demographic, or who may be Lexus customers already and will engage further with our brand,” he said.

The Elysian Hotel is located on Chicago’s Gold Coast.

Hailing effort

Instead of having guests hail a taxi, the Elysian will use the Lexus vehicles to chauffeur guests to downtown Chicago locations.

The available Lexus vehicles range from the Lexus LS 460L and LS 600h L hybrid sedans to the LX 570 sport utility vehicle.

The vehicles will be showcased in the Elysian’s European-style courtyard which will introduce and display Lexus’ latest products to guests.

Guests can book the “Lexus Escape” package with the concierge which includes accommodations, the keys to a Lexus convertible, a breakfast for two and a welcome amenity.

The package starts at $485 per night and is based on availability.

High-end ride

This is not the first time that the Toyota-owned automaker has partnered with a luxury hotel.

In the past, Lexus has joined forces with Pebble Beach Resorts in California; Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN; Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, CA; XV Beacon Hotel, Boston; Lake Placid Lodge, NY; and The Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg, OR.

An automaker partnering with a luxury hotel can help introduce its vehicles to guests who are most likely the target demographic.

This taxi-service can help Lexus create awareness with the Elysian guests and ultimately drive people to test-drive the vehicles at dealerships.

For example, Mercedes-Benz promoted its 2010 CLS63AMG model throughout the streets of New York via a taxi service that finds fashion-savvy pedestrians and brings them to their destination (see story).

The luxury automaker hit the streets for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in February. Consumers who were offered a ride had their picture taken and several of them received invitations to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week runway shows.

Implementing a free ride to a particular destination not only promotes Lexus as a whole, but also the particular vehicles being used. The promotion creates conversation about the new luxury brand’s cars.

“Courtesy transportation vehicles are a natural way for Lexus to integrate into the guest experience and introduce qualified consumers to the Lexus lineup,” Mr. Kelley said.

“The hotel partnership also adds value for Lexus owners who receive special benefits and discounts," he said. "It's a win-win for Lexus, the hotels and the guests.”

Final Take

Why do Lexus and the Elysian have in common?