Lexus Makes Agency Addition

LOS ANGELES Lexus has named independent Walton/Isaacson to handle its African-American creative and media chores following a review.

The Beverly Hills, Calif.-based shop recently developed marketing promotions for Burger King featuring Diddy, and it also handles minority advertising for Right Gin, Pepsi, Maytag and Axe body spray, among others.

The Torrance, Calif-based division of Toyota spent $300 million on U.S. advertising in 2006, and $100 million through May of this year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Its African-American outlay could not immediately be determined, nor could the other participants in the review. Publicis Groupe’s Burrell Communications, Chicago, was the incumbent. (Publicis’ Team One in El Segundo, Calif., is Lexus’ general-market lead agency.)

“We’re very excited about working with the Lexus team,” said Aaron Walton, agency partner and co-founder. “As brands go, Lexus is a marketer’s dream.”

“Walton/Isaacson’s innovative approach in developing lifestyle initiatives and integrating technology into their campaigns drove our decision to establish this partnership,” said Deborah Meyer, vp, marketing at Lexus, in a statement. “While Lexus is already an established successful luxury brand, we are looking to Walton/Isaacson to help us increase our presence in the African-American market.”

Walton said that as a nontraditional shop, “what proved to be a great asset was our channel-agnostic look at the business, regardless of the advertising size or media play. Once you figure out the best solution, weave the idea. We presented an integrated solution.”

Co-founder and partner Cory Isaacson said he was “confident” in the agency’s “ability to deliver for Lexus the same groundbreaking results that we’ve achieved for our other clients.”