Lexus Commissions Interactive Video to Promote New Hybrid Luxury Compact

--Video Lets Viewers Determine its Narrative, Insert their Likeness, Record their own Dialog Lines

Toyota's Lexus brand has tapped creative agency, Skinny, and production company, Stink Digital, to develop a high-definition and high-production-values interactive video to promote its new luxury hybrid compact car, the CT 200h.

Entitled "Dark Ride," produced by Aris McGarry ("Gone in Sixty Seconds," "Kalifornia"), directed by James Brown, shot by 2009 Academy Award nominee, Claudio Miranda ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") and starring Norman Reedus ("Boondock Saints"), the Flash-powered video--which is available online at http://www.lexusdarkride.com --allows viewers to "insert themselves into the film, sitting besides 'Tony' (Reedus), and navigating while he drives the CT 200h from the Nevada desert to a Los Angeles safehouse and protects it from a variety of enemies who wish to get their hands on the new prototype," Lexus says.

The video provides viewers with a range of interactive features (note: in order to access the video's interactivity, viewers must log in via Facebook Connect), including a choose-your-own-adventure narrative, the ability to insert their own likeness via a webcam or profile pic, the ability to record their own dialog lines, and the ability to control camera movement and POV via extended user-pannable sequences. "With 'Dark Ride' we are creating a unique virtual test drive opportunity so consumers can experience this hybrid, that is like no other, months before it is available at dealerships in early 2011," Lexus's VP of marketing, Dave Nordstrom, said in a prepared statement. "In it, consumers play a co-starring role as the fun-to-drive Lexus CT 200h is put through its paces. By guiding the driver and the CT through a series of adventures, customers will be exposed to 'The Darker Side of Green,' which is completely different than the way hybrids are usually portrayed."

North America