You hear the voice in the radio spot, and you recognize it immediately. "For the past 20 years," it starts, "people have been obsessed with the pursuit of ..." and your mind fills in the blank: pursuit of perfection. It's a Lexus spot. Except it's not. That familiar old voice goes on to say people have been obsessed with the pursuit "of overpriced luxury cars. Thank God those days are over. Finally, I can loosen my tie and have some $% fun."
And then he totally pitches the Mitsubishi Lancer. (Hear the entire spot here.)
Back in March, Lexus traded in its voice of 20 years for a new model. Out went voice-over artist James Sloyan, and in came actor James Remar, best known for his role as Kim Cattrall's bad-boy, rich boyfriend on HBO's "Sex and the City." At the time, several auto pundits were taken aback and criticized both automaker and shop, suggesting the move was an overreaction to aggressive attacks from Audi. Lexus, they said, was feeling old and so ditched its old, reliable voice. A Lexus spokeswoman said the marketer wanted a voice-over that "could appeal to a broad audience that can encapsulate our brand as it moves forward."
Well, Sloyan didn't waste any time moving forward either. He landed at Mitsubishi. It probably wasn't a coincidence. Tom Cordner, co-chairman of Mitsubishi's creative shop, Traffic, Los Angeles, toiled for many years of his career as the top creative on Lexus at Team One.
And thus this spot was born.
Toward the end of the ad, when Sloyan starts talking pricing, he says, "And now with $1,500 cash back, you get a Lancer starting at around $13,000. That's a phrase I have never said in my entire career."