Are you getting ready to enter the Customer Experience category of the WARC Awards for Effectiveness? Here's something to inspire you! Read on to find out more about 2021 Silver winner, luxury car brand Lexus.

Lexus: Small business drive

Brand: Lexus
Brand owner: Toyota Motor Corporation
Entrant company: TBWA\Hong Kong
Market: Asia

The challenge: Lexus needed to steal share from the dominant German competitors to grow, and the launch of its small SUV – the Urban Explorer – called for a campaign that could crack this guarded market with the added challenge of an SUV model smaller than the rest.

The insight: Lexus identified a small group of individuals who felt under-served by luxury brands, Change Hunters: car owners who had a 'keen sense of adventure'. They were becoming discontented with the city because urban culture was being killed by high property prices: unforgiving landlords had been pushing interesting small local businesses towards extinction and, as a result, every commercial district felt cookie-cutter made. The truth was that the interesting urban spots were not dead, they were just becoming harder to find as they hid in industrial buildings within decrepit areas that offered lower rent. And that was perfect for the UX, a compact and versatile SUV that allows curious souls explore the city's inner edges.

The execution: Small Business Drive used search, lifestyle-brand partnerships, brand ambassadors, email and ultimately a data-driven customised test-drive to take the prospects on a journey to undiscovered businesses.

The results: Within the first three months, Lexus had already sold 153 units of UX, making it the best-selling medium-luxury SUV for the quarter. For the first time in Lexus' history in this market, its overall share of luxury car sales reached 18%. It overtook Audi and became the third biggest player.

Dive deeper

In partnership with On Strategy Showcase's Fergus O'Carroll, WARC has interviewed TBWA Hong Kong's Jerome Ooi, Executive Creative Director and Terence Ling, Head of Strategy, to uncover behind-the-scenes insights on the work.

Where to listen

The WARC Awards for Effectiveness are open for entries with deadline on 2nd March.

Your Customer Experience entry will be judged by a brilliant panel of industry experts, chaired by Akira Mitsumasu, VP of CX, Data Analytics and Global Marketing, Japan Airlines.

Our Entry Pack contains all the info you need to enter the Awards. If you still have questions, drop us a line at