Global.Ad.Geeks: Lexus goes back to the future
by Mandy & Jon (@mandyldewaal) Ever since Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) arrived in 2015, thanks to the DeLorean time machine created by his pal Emmett ‘Doc’ Brown (Christopher Lloyd) in the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II, geeks like us have wondered when hoverboards would become reality.
The Back to the Future franchise became a cult classic because of its clever, predictive use of technology — the smart clothing, video glasses, flying cars, flying cameras, and, of course, the hoverboard. In an iconic scene in the movie, McFly grabs a hoverboard that glides above the ground and which enables the movie’s hero to make a quick getaway from the goons he’s being chased by.
Now a reality
Now that it is actually 2015, it is uncanny to see how the movie hinted at the Internet of Everything, Google Glass, drone cameras and the hoverboard, which is now a thing, thanks to Lexus and its agency, CHI&Partners.
The lead agency for Lexus across Europe and the UK, CHI&Partners conceptualised an amazing campaign for the luxury brand owned by Japanese auto giants, Toyota. And, when the central project in this campaign was revealed to the media in June 2015, the global press was agog.
Called “Slide”, this is the fourth project that CHI&Partners has created for Lexus International, and features a real, rideable hoverboard. CHI&Partners says that, together with Lexus, the agency began exploring prototypes for a hoverboard over a year ago.
The agency and the luxury car brand collaborated with a team of scientists that specialise in magnetic levitation. After months of development, testing and overcoming “seemingly insurmountable challenges”, the scientists at IFW Dresden and evico in Germany created the Lexus Hoverboard, a device that uses a combination of permanent magnets and liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors to float and glide.
Testing of the prototype has been carried out at a specially constructed hoverpark that fuses technology, architecture and popular culture. Some 200m of magnetic track was transported from Dresden, Germany, and laid beneath the surface of the Barcelona-based hoverpark in order to test the Lexus hoverboard. The aim? To demonstrate tricks that no skateboard could ever replicate — such as travelling across water.
The honour of testing the invention was awarded to globally renowned pro-skateboarder, Ross McGouran, who is the protagonist in a short movie made by award-winning film director Henry-Alex Rubin. Called “Slide”, the advert shows McGouran teaching himself to float on the hoverboard in the Dresden park, and then take on a series increasingly challenging stunts.
“A whole new experience”
“I’ve spent 20 years skateboarding but, without friction, it feels like I’ve had to learn a whole new skill, particularly in the stance and balance in order to ride the hoverboard,” he says. “It’s a whole new experience,” the pro-skateboarder adds.
Why invest years and what must surely be a small fortune in trying to build the impossible?
“Embarking on this project, we set out to push the boundaries of technology, design and innovation to make the impossible possible,” says Mark Templin, the executive vice president at Lexus International. “Even through combining our technology and expertise, we discovered making a hoverboard isn’t an easy process.”
“Amazing in Motion”
“We’ve experienced the highs and lows and have overcome a few challenges, but through mutual determination we have created a demonstration of our philosophy in design and technology to create Amazing in Motion,” he continues.
There’s something magical that happens when brands do more than just create products. By being bold and brave, Lexus has captured the world’s imagination with #AmazingInMotion and the #LexusHoverboard.
As Japanese auto engineer, Haruhiko Tanahashi, is quoted as saying in the opening sequence of the ad: “There is no such thing as impossible; it’s just a matter of figuring how.”
Credits courtesy of AdForum:
Post production: MPC LDN
Editing company: Marshall Street Editors
Audio post production: Wave Studios
Campaign: Amazing in Motion
Brand: Lexus International.
Read & see more:
- Levitating hoverboard ‘pushes boundaries’ as Lexus launches campaign at Campaign.
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