Since they hit our screens in the 1990s, the Men in Black have been on a mission to protect the Earth from the scum of the universe. In 2019, this most exclusive group of secret agents are back, once again coming to the aid of the human race. To make sure they are ready for action and to complement their style panache, Lexus has equipped the agents with a fleet of cars. In Sony Pictures’ Men in Black: International, we see the aggressive RC F sports coupe race through London, helping agents escape threatening aliens, before transforming into a jet. Lexus’ RX Hybrid and LX SUVs are also featured in scenes with alien encounters.
“The MIB franchise gave us a great opportunity to show exciting new products and talk about our own high-tech gear in a fun and engaging way,” said Spiros Fotinos, global head of brand management and marketing, Lexus International.
Jeffrey Godsick, EVP, brand management and global partnerships, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group said: “We sought an automotive partner that would complement the iconic style of the Men in Black Universe. Lexus provides the perfect fleet of stylish, high-tech vehicles for our team of Men in Black agents as they protect the galaxy.”
Supporting the global launch of Men in Black: International is an online campaign devised and executed by the car manufacturer’s agency of record, The&Partnership. The campaign leverages the world and humour of MIB in order to showcase the innovative Lexus self-charging hybrid technology and the fun to drive performance. Featured in all three pieces of digital content is the LC 500h, Lexus’s flagship luxury sports car and the pinnacle of its hybrid engineering.
“This was a tricky brief; we had to tell the audience all about the great features that the LC has, whilst retaining the humour of the franchise. Who better to do that than director Danny Kleinman,” said Dave Bedwood, creative partner, The&Partnership.
Shot in London, the base of the expanded universe for the Men in Black, and using an Arri Alexa Mini camera; costume designer Verity Hawkes was able to use props from the movie; such as the much loved neuralyzer. Renowned for his comedic prowess and sense of fun, the award-winning director Danny makes a Hitchcock-esque performance in the TV spots, playing the role onscreen of the director. Danny has long been associated with humour and has won many awards for his comedy work, most notably with classic campaigns for John Smith's starring Peter Kay, his PG Tips ads starring Johnny Vegas and campaigns for Boddington's starring Melanie Sykes. For the last seven James Bond films, he has directed their title sequences, demonstrating his ability to also capture the beautiful and shoot a stunning shot.
“The concept of blurring what’s real and what isn’t was fun and actually very appropriate” said Rattling Stick director Danny. “Two great brands: Men in Black and Lexus, equally supported by the clever writing of Helen Rogerson and team - creating these spots with them was marvellous, despite the odd challenge. I particularly like the off-camera director VO - hilarious.”
As part of the global promotional partnership, a multi-layered media distribution strategy will be activated in Europe across premium native and pre-roll environments, to drive awareness and association. The result is an audience first and data driven strategy that will maximise visibility of Lexus during the film release, to new premium audiences.
Creative Agency: The&Partnership London
Executive Creative Director: Yan Elliott / Micky Tudor
Creative Director: Dave Bedwood
Creatives: Helen Rogerson
Producer: Anthony Borkett
Head of Production: Charles Crisp
Business Director: Benedict Pringle
Account Director: Sophie Holt
Account Manager: Sarah Firmston-Williams