R&B crooner Ryan Leslie figured he'd be the star of an upcoming commercial for Lexus, since he and the marketer made an multi-layered endorsement and promotional deal that spans TV and digital media. He got schooled, though, when he showed up on set. As he says in this making-of video, the redesigned Lexus GX SUV is the real spotlight hog. He's simply "the co-star." That's probably OK, since the new ad, launching Feb. 1 during the BET Honors, could put the Universal Motown artist in front of lots of potential new fans. And Leslie, in turn, will evangelize for the brand through his very active online social network. (His music videos are heavy draws on YouTube, and he's a relentless Tweeter). The partnership with Lexus will include downloads, original content and sweepstakes. Leslie is performing during the BET Honors, which will kick off Black History Month, and at Lexus Listening Lounges around the country. The spot, dubbed "The Rushers," is a cliffhanger with a noir overlay. See a preview here. But where's his music? Maybe it'll show up in future installments.
—Posted by T.L. Stanley