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Infomercials and used cars have cast off their downscale image to enter the mainstream. Want proof? Lexus is combining the two in its latest marketing program.

Toyota Motor Sales USA's Lexus division is running a 30-minute infomercial to promote Lexus Certified Pre-Owned, the upscale marque's marketing program for used cars.

Lexus believes this is the first infomercial for a luxury car-and the first for used cars.

Lexus began testing the infomercial in late June in Los Angeles, will run it this month in New York, Dallas and Phoenix, and plans to expand to other major markets in coming months, said Gary Marcotte, Lexus manager of special markets. Lexus paid for production, while Lexus and dealer associations jointly pay for media in what could be a multimillion-dollar program once it expands.

The infomercial plans are unrelated to the tariff threat on Japanese cars that was averted in late June, Mr. Marcotte said. Lexus began planning its infomercial in January.

Hudson Street Partners, New York, created the infomercial. Hudson Street is an arm of Saatchi & Saatchi, sister agency of Lexus shop Team One Advertising, El Segundo, Calif. Hudson Street last year produced an infomercial for Toyota Tercel, one of the first new cars to use the medium.

The Lexus infomercial includes testimonials from satisfied owners of used Lexus models and comments from experts. After the first weekend airing in Los Angeles, more than 2,000 people called to get information.

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