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Lexus Teams with Xbox to Pull an All-Nighter

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author photo by Autotrader December 2010

Attention online gamers and Xbox 360 console owners. Toyota’s luxury Lexus brand is reaching out to you this weekend. For the first time Lexus is teaming with Microsoft’s Xbox - as part of the launch of the new CT 200h five-door compact hybrid.

Lexus will sponsor Xbox LIVE’s online “All-Nighter” gaming marathon for the futuristic “Halo: Reach” game on Dec.18 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. (Pacific Time).

Participants in the dusk-to-dawn event can download Lexus content and enter to win prizes awarded hourly. The rules and entry forms can be found at www.xbox.com/lexusall-nightersweeps.

“We’re looking to stimulate conversation with a new customer for Lexus, for whom gaming is highly engaging and very social,” said Dave Nordstrom, vice president of marketing at Lexus. “This partnership allows us to be a part of the Xbox community for the first time and give a little something back to gamers just for doing what they do best.”

Lexus owners are among the oldest in the industry, so the brand needs to appeal to younger consumers.

The average age of a Lexus owner is 53.6 years old, according to auto data site Truecar.com, which reported this year that only the Chrysler, Cadillac, Mercury, Lincoln and Buick brands had older owners.

Meantime, only 3% of all Xbox 360 users are between the ages of 45 and 54, Microsoft and Nielsen revealed in a study earlier this year. The largest demographic of users is between the ages of 18-to-34 years old, making up 45%, the study found. By gender, males between the ages of 18 and 34 make up the largest group of Xbox 360 users, or 44% of all users, the study found. Women in that same age group comprise the biggest set of Xbox 360 users, at 11%.

Jesse Toprak, a vice president of Truecar, called the Lexus Xbox play “a smart move,” because the gamers’ demographics are a good match for the automaker’s target of between 30 and 40 years old for the new hybrid compact. Toprak, who plays NFL games on his Xbox 360, said gamers are a captive audience for any ads Lexus may run on the game screen during the marathon, unlike television where viewers can channel surf during ads. Consumers are more engaged with their online games than with TV, he added.

The CT 200h premium compact hybrid will go on sale in March with a base suggested retail price of $29,120.

Other auto brands have partnered with Xbox 360 in recent years. In October 2007, Lexus’ sibling Toyota offered a video game that could be downloaded free for a year as part of a promotion for its then-new Yaris small car, targeted at younger drivers. A month before that, General Motors’ Pontiac brand tapped into the hoopla for Xbox 360’s much-awaited “Halo 3” game. Pontiac held several events for play of the new game before its official on-sale date and gave away 1,000 of the games to eager fans ahead of its arrival. Pontiac agreed to spend $5 million in media on ads touting the Halo 3 promotion.

For Lexus, the Xbox deal gives the marketer another outlet to push its new “Darkcasting” online series that arrived in early November on behalf of the CT200h at its official site www.darkersideofgreen/darkcasting. Gamers can access the new series hosted by comedian Whitney Cummings from Xbox’s “All-Nighter” site. Cummings shot a series of interviews in six cities done inside the new hybrid with social media mavens, young entrepreneurs and influencers in technology, fashion, media and entertainment.

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Used 2011 Lexus GS Models
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Used 2011 Lexus CT 200h
Used 2011 Lexus CT 200h
$13,164
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Used 2011 Lexus GX Models
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Used 2011 Lexus RX Models AWD
Used 2011 Lexus RX Models
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Lexus Teams with Xbox to Pull an All-Nighter - Autotrader