Lexus Creates Homage to Tennis Balls

Lexus Creates Homage to Tennis Balls  
Filed under:
News, Lexus
on 08/28/2006

Source: Lexus

Lexus today announced the debut of a new advertising campaign titled "Life of a Ball." The print and broadcast campaign takes a humorous look through the eyes of a tennis ball as it pursues the ultimate tennis ball status -- US Open play. Lexus created the campaign to celebrate its role as Official Vehicle of the 2006 US Open and Presenting Sponsor of the US Open Men's Singles Championship.

"The US Open is an exciting and important sponsorship for Lexus, and we want to create an impactful experience for fans watching live at the matches or from home," said Deborah Meyer, vice president, marketing, Lexus. "The ad campaign showcases Lexus' lighter side as we take a tongue-in-cheek look at the struggles a tennis ball goes through to reach the ultimate game -- a US Open match. Through the eyes of a tennis ball, we are able to communicate the shared values between Lexus and US Open play -- the pursuit of perfection."

The campaign features a four-page program advertisement and a two-page Sports Illustrated Select gatefold. The ads feature the headline "What Becomes of the 99.98% of Tennis Balls that Never Make it to the US Open" and showcases the many personalities of a tennis ball. Personalities include "The Humanitarian," the tennis balls on the bottom of a walker; "The Sucker," the dog's chew toy; "The Drifter," the tennis ball as antennae ornament; and "The Masochist," the tennis ball door stop.

In addition to the two print pieces, Lexus created two broadcast advertisements featuring the personalities. The first spot, "Where Next," opens in Arthur Ashe Stadium during a tennis match. The voiceover states, "The lifespan of a US Open ball is nine short games. So where do they go from there?" As the spot progresses, it shows different paths the balls take -- a doorstop cut in half, a juggler's props for charity work and, finally, the perfect retirement: the opportunity to serve as a hanging parking guide in the garage of a Lexus LS.

The second spot, titled "Greatness," follows the pursuit of perfection for a tennis ball. The voiceover states "Failure is inevitable for some. Those lost souls who never even dare to hope. Others may rise to mediocrity. Plagued by an instinctual yearning for something more. The vast majority, of course, will comfortably occupy the middle of the road. While a truly elite few will rise to greatness." The spot features tennis balls striving to achieve that greatness -- the tennis ball over the tow hitch of a trailer, the dirty ball in a field, the ball on a walker and the dog chew toy. Finally, the spot shows greatness with the ball being served by tennis star Andy Roddick. It closes with a tennis ball sporting a Lexus logo and states "Pursue Perfection."

The broadcast spots began airing on Aug. 21 on the Tennis Channel and on Aug. 26 on CBS and Aug. 28 on USA Network. Additional web-only spots will run on The spots look deeper into the personality of the tennis balls: "Tow Hitch," "Door Stop" and "Lawnmower."

Additional US Open sponsorship elements include the first-ever awarding of a hybrid vehicle, the GS 450h, to the Men's Singles Champion and, a web site dedicated to Lexus' sponsorship of the US Open and several on-site programs and activities. As a US Open exclusive, the automaker created the Lexus Insider Alert, a cell phone application that alerts attendees to Lexus activities on-site and provides audio tours of Lexus vehicles at the displays. Additionally, Lexus will have giveaways throughout the event, including Lexus antennae balls that can be redeemed for additional prizes, Lexus mint tins and Lexus hats.

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