Lexus steers toward wellness with luxury road trips

Dive Brief:

  • Lexus for the first time is offering people a way to drive its 2021 IS sedan during a five-day trip aimed at promoting relaxation and emotional well-being. The “Retreats in Motion” experience lets guests take “a scenic, restorative drive” between stays at two hotels and enjoy self-care activities along the way, per an announcement from the Toyota-owned luxury vehicle brand.
  • Guests will spend two nights at a luxury resort and then drive about three hours to another hotel for a two-night stay before returning back. Activities along the way include scenic views, aromatherapy, guided breathing exercises and healthy gourmet meals.
  • Lexus partnered with lifestyle media brand Mindbodygreen to create custom content from wellness experts for each retreat. Fees for “Retreats in Motion” start at $2,700 for two guests, and include the hotel stay, loan of a new 2021 Lexus IS, a welcome kit and access to wellness content, per the announcement.

Dive Insight:

Lexus aims to show how its 2021 IS sedan can be part of a complete lifestyle of health and well-being with its “Retreats in Motion” experience. Amid studies showing that many Americans are stressed from the pandemic and worried about the future, Lexus’ luxury road trip can provide a much-needed respite to prospective car buyers or fans of the vehicle brand. The trip also marks a turning point in bringing back experiential marketing campaigns that were canceled or delayed over the past year as health officials urged people to stay at home.

“These days, the desire to escape on the open road to rejuvenate mind and spirit has never been more enticing,” Vinay Shahani, Lexus vice president of marketing, said in a statement. “The ‘Retreats in Motion’ program not only provides perfectly planned, luxurious getaways in a Lexus vehicle, but they also elevate the classic road trip with much-needed recuperative experiences.”

The getaway incorporates the vehicle as a key part of the wellness-inspired experience. The Lexus vehicle itself is positioned as a “destination and sanctuary” and is equipped with audio content from Mindbodygreen. The content includes podcasts on sustainability with author Jonathan Safran Foer, a guided walking meditation with yoga teacher Mary Beth LaRue and advice on topics ranging from mindful eating to personal longevity. An immersive in-car sound bath with sound therapist Sara Auster helps “deliver a sense of calm,” according to the announcement.

“Retreats in Motion” is the latest innovative campaign from Lexus, which in the past year has experimented with a variety of digital media channels and creators to engage prospective customers. The vehicle brand two weeks ago sponsored a video documentary called “Rubber & Sole” that showed how a group of designers created a customized sneaker inspired by the 2021 IS sedan as part of its broader “All In” campaign. Lexus in January also sought to engage viewers of livestreaming platform Twitch by asking them to help create a customized version of the latest IS model.

The Toyota-owned car brand’s digital media efforts in the past year have included a six-part podcast series hosted by author Malcolm Gladwell, and the release of its Lexus AR Play app to give users an immersive preview of the 2021 IS. The brand also created a social media series called “Lexus Creates” that asked people to participate in its creative process. Featuring an origami tutorial with U.K. artist Coco Sato, Lexus showcased the “pursuit of perfection” ethos behind its brand.

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