Drive-ins have become a staple of the 2020 experiential marketing playbook, but Lexus kicked the traditional approach up a notch with a three-night gourmet drive-in movie experience at L.A. LIVE’s Event Deck in downtown Los Angeles.
The Lexus Culinary Cinema, held Nov. 13-15, brought consumers together for a three-course meal, custom mocktails, a complimentary gift bag and pre-movie trivia for $25. Meals were served to attendees inside their vehicles in 30-minute windows. Each evening featured a different menu curated by select Lexus Culinary Masters, a group of top U.S. chefs, restaurateurs and culinary personalities that serve as brand ambassadors. Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo opened the event with cuisine paired with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Chef Ludo Lefebvre followed with dishes designed for the film “Sideways,” and Chef Carlo Mirarchi closed the series with fare to accompany “Little Miss Sunshine.”
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Lexus has leveraged culinary as a passion point and “lifestyle pillar” of its marketing program for a number of years, activating food and wine events and forming partnerships with culinary ambassadors and chefs. The Culinary Cinema experience, a drive-in, was a first for Lexus.
“Drive-in theaters have seen an emergence since the pandemic started, but in a more traditional way. It’s not in our DNA to take the traditional approach,” says Steve Jett, national marketing manager at Lexus Division. “We felt we could leverage our culinary ambassadors and do a different twist on the drive-in theater. That’s what we want to do with every lifestyle program is elevate it to a new level: How can we separate ourselves from other luxury brands and put Lexus in a category of being distinctive and more memorable to the attendee.” Agency: Team One.