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Sophisticated sponsorship that tells a story

Lexus of Austin was still using a dated video to play before their sponsored nonprofit events, but I knew that we could transform this non sequitur break in the program into sponsored content to showcase Lexus’ commitment to customer service, community, and altruism. This became a multi-year large scale sponsored content campaign in nearly 50 short films highlighting their unique value as a dealership and their community impact. The campaign’s success was part of rapid growth that placed them as frontrunners in a race to expand to a second location and ultimately outpace industry benchmarks.

Over five years, I developed concept and creative for Lexus of Austin and Lexus of Lakeway to support local nonprofits such as Hospice Austin and The Center for Child Protection. We wrote, directed, and produced videos featuring Lexus as a supporter of local nonprofits and their community impact from a year of fundraising events. First and foremost, we wanted to show their impact, but the greatest value to Lexus was the pieces’ ability to showcase the dealerships’ unique service and beauty without distracting or shifting from the important causes.

Driving revenue

Our focus was on Lexus of Austin and Lakeway’s growth — outpacing the industry in vehicle registration growth year over year. This growth paved the way for a second location, a highly coveted opening only granted to a handful of Lexus locations worldwide.

Letting clients take the approval wheel

This project is a hallmark of my working philosophy. I always strive to remove the inherent antagonism of agency vs client, managing high expectations of quality with low expectations of cost. With Lexus, we were in moving agreement the entire time. Digital storyboards with instant approval could immediately be animated and edited with dailies, removing the barrier between client and creative. This process allowed for minimal friction and promoted collaboration early in the process. This is crucial for creating so much personalized content.

I developed the concept of every video, managed full scripts and productions, and interviewed Lexus staff and owners to help bring their stories to the screen. A shoot at two fully operational car dealerships takes a full crew and lots of coordination. I’m probably most proud of five years of not scratching a single car.

While the video style relied heavily on emotive shots of Lexus employees to help the audience connect on a deeper level, I wanted to captivate viewers and highlight the nonprofits’ impact onscreen through infographic animation blended with the footage. This conveyed our message of impact and moved the emotional story forward.

Accelerating partnerships

As our budgets grew with the success of the sponsored content, we developed their #drivenambassador campaign, a chance for the dealership to sponsor local makers and artists. I directed and produced a partnership spotlight video with Keith Kreeger. Shot on RED, we captured authentic shots of Keith in his studio as he created custom plates for Lexus. I’m proud of the beautiful colors we achieved and the graceful ballet of the slow motion shots.

Creative DirectorKeith ManloveDirectorKeith ManloveCrewSarah Frankie Linder, Hallease Narvaez, Scott Anderson, Terra Goolsby, Jackie Berger, Alexa Bodine, Taylor WommackProducerCassie LaMereEditorsKris Sanchez, Dana Summer, Taylor WommackScriptGeorge Bragdon