The Ad Age article titled, Buick Pokes Fun at Lexus in New Billboard Ads, announced that Buick recently launched a series of outdoor ads featuring the LaCrosse that challenge Lexus. The billboard headlines include, “EX your Lexus” and “Something else for Lexus to relentlessly pursue.”
I found three things noteworthy of sharing while reading the article:
1. Since when have Buick and Lexus been competitors in the same category? Lexus is a luxury brand. Personally, I don’t associate Buick with luxury. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone, besides Buick themselves, categorize the brand as luxury.
2. Google served up an online ad selling Lexus cars, directly beneath a version of the article that discussed Buick calling out Lexus. While this placement is not nearly as bad as the time a Volvo ad about safety was placed next to an article about a car crash, I’d still consider it a failure.
3. Singling out the competition (direct or indirect) can be a slippery slope as seen by two of my favorite dueling brands: Audi verses BMW. In early 2009, when Audi launched an outdoor campaign showcasing the luxurious A4, they got a little too egotistical in thinking it was clever to put up a billboard proclaiming, “Your move, BMW.” BMW’s tactical and ingenious response included strategically placed boards adjacent to the Audi ads with the beautifully simple headline of, “Checkmate.” Point for BMW. Humiliation for Audi. I am excited and curious to see if and/or how Lexus will respond to Buick’s call out. Although I am assuming it’s fake, hopefully it’s better than the response below. Stay tuned.