The Lexus of Love Letters

By Keith Lutz

The realm of luxury automobiles is a rarefied place where the everyday is uncommon and the extraordinary is expected. Competing in such an arena is not only tough as nails but succeeding in this arena is a true testament to company’s ability to deliver high quality on a consistent basis.

That is the essence of Lexus, according to a new marketing campaign.

When you think of Lexus automobiles, your mind probably conjures up images of luxury, style, and unsurpassed elegance.

Ever since its debut in the 1980s, Lexus captivates consumers with its seemingly effortless blend of cutting-edge style and peerless craftsmanship. It is one of the few luxury car brands that combines high performance automobiles with superior quality. Not only that, Lexus’ ability to regularly execute at such a high level makes it one of those rare companies for which there are few comparisons.

As you can imagine, this level of quality endears it to legions of fans, many being proud Lexus owners themselves. Some even go so far as to express their love and gratitude for the company that strives to give them the best and nothing less.

In an art installation by perceptual artist Michael Murphy, this ardor is expressed in a visual form as thousands of thank you letters to Lexus from fans are immortalized in a sculpture that shifts depending on the viewer’s perspective: From one angle, the sculpture is in the shape of the 2018 Lexus LS sedan, and from another it is the Lexus logo itself. .

The artwork, “Letters,” is part of a new marketing campaign by the auto manufacturer “celebrating the Lexus guest experience.”

Produced in collaboration with the aforementioned Michael Murphy, the 16-foot art piece is suspended from six ceiling panels mounted to a steel frame and features 2,000 pieces of hanging origami, each unique and inscribed with thank you notes from customers to Lexus dealerships.

Lexus vice president of marketing Cooper Ericksen said of the project: “Lexus crafts experiences for its guests with the same level of care it crafts its vehicles…Using actual letters sent to our dealerships shows how each interaction, large or small, makes the overall Lexus experience exceptional. These experiences are the very DNA of what makes Lexus, Lexus.”

In a video showcasing the art installation, Lexus customers read their heartfelt notes to the company, many of which recall pleasant dealership experiences and customer service that went above and beyond.

The artist Michael Murphy likes to refer to his work as perceptual art because of how it shifts depending on the viewer’s angle of sight. The 2,000 pieces of origami were assembled with painstaking precision, so much so that the artist claims, “If it is more than one millimeter off it is considered an error.”

Michael Murphy is a well-known and respected visual artist who helped pioneer perceptual art, and is one of the first – and best – at creating large 3-D installations. Murphy has previously worked with a long list of popular brands, including Nike, Air Jordan, TIME, NPR, Disney and the Obama presidential campaign. He was the ideal selection for the “Letters” campaign not only due to his innovative technique, but because he established a career in art not just to create something for people to see, but to create art that people can experience.

That said, the installation is transportable and will make appearances at Lexus dealership events and corporate showcases.

The collaboration represents Lexus fusion of art, sculpture, and precise engineering, while its origami thank you letters are what they call the spirit of the brand.

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