This is Lexus shouting to its enthusiast base, “We’re not only listening, we’re actually making cool stuff for you, too!”

Earlier this week Lexus debuted its 2022 Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance to the motoring world. Usually, within minutes of a car’s official release, multiple media outlets will roll out their one-on-one video exclusives with the car “in the flesh.” That was not the case for this car.

Sure, Lexus had their own video for everyone else to chop up, but there were only two media outlets with its own unique take. Donut Media, along with AutoGuide, are the only ones listed on Lexus’s IS 500 landing page with first look videos.

(spoiler alert, one video’s clearly outperforming the other, and for good reason.)

After shooting an e-mail to Ryan Matsumoto, senior analyst at Lexus, he confirmed my suspicions about why Lexus went with Donut Media.

According to Matsumoto,

“We think the IS500 will appeal to a younger enthusiast audience, which is the same audience that Donut Media caters to with their content.”

A car built for enthusiasts introduced by enthusiasts.

Toyota and Lexus, as of late, spiced up their lineups considerably to cater to a younger audience.. By not letting their sedans stagnate with fun one-offs like this, Lexus is reminding its future base its serious about performance.

The Lexus IS 500 sounds a lot like what a car enthusiast would eventually do. Lexus took its already proven IS platform and swapped in a larger engine from the more sports-focused RC F and LC 500. It’s a passion project by Lexus engineers.

Donut Media, with its 4.7 million Youtube subs (along with large presences on Facebook & Instagram) is a fairly new media outlet dialed into creating “highly shareable” automotive video content aimed squarely at a younger demo. With segments like HiLow, Up to Speed, and MoneyPit, they’re enthusiasts, too, a characteristic in line with Lexus’s future products.

It also helps Lexus’s Western Area Office and Donut Media HQ are within an hour of each other.

An IS 500 debut in a WheelHouse format

After watching the video, it felt like this was almost a last-minute decision on both parties’ parts.

In the description and towards the end, Sykes credits Pat Devereux from Petrolicious, “for connecting us with Lexus! (We, Donut media) Coudn’t have made this video without you!”

Donut Media’s debut wasn’t even a 100 percent exclusive, it was still part of Donut’s “WheelHouse” series, a video published every Monday “Answering all the questions you never thought to ask.” Sykes still had to start the video with a shout-out to their sponsor, Lord’s Mobile.

In the end, Lexus further drove home its message that it’s in it for the long game for Millennials and Gen Z.

Sure, AutoGuide’s video was succinct, hitting on key points, but Donut Media’s video kept me (an older millennial) engaged, presenting the information in a fun, unique way. Just look at this screenshot of one of their fun little animations mid-video.

Sykes said it best when he concluded,

“This car, the IS 500, is a signal, a coded message, from Lexus straight to enthusiasts, the people still watching this, that they want to make cars for you. This is a small first step.”

What better way to introduce this sleeper with a V8 then by a video-focused media outlet that’s arguably killing it with the Millennial and Gen Z demographic.


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