Another year, another Lexus “December to Remember” campaign from Team One answering the question, “What kind of person actually buys a Lexus for the holidays?”
This year the answer is even harder to swallow than normal, as the campaign features a series of spots featuring adults manipulating kids into lobbying Santa on their behalf. In “Santa Letter,” for example, a mom tries to dictate the name of the car she wants to her daughter, before giving up and writing it herself. Another spot sees parents skipping the middleman and forging the letter. When their son catches them, he makes the most of the situation, getting them to add “And a puppy.” Other ads show mall Santa manipulation and a video chat with Mr. Claus, each ending with the tagline, “If you’re going to wish, wish big.”
The spots aim for a humorous take on Christmas traditions, but the joke never quite lands. Perhaps worse, the adults selfishly lobbying for an expensive luxury car come across as insufferable and something about the approach just feels wrong. The spots make their broadcast debut on network and cable today, supported by print ads featuring illustrations from artist Andrew Bannecker.
“The holidays are a magical time for children, but this year’s campaign reminds everyone, regardless of age, that they’re never too old to wish,” Lexus vice president of marketing Brian Smith told Adweek. “Kids have a lifeline to Santa that adults can’t touch, and these spots offer a genuine yet humorous take on families working together so everyone can have a December to remember.”