Lexus ads are the latest auto spots to dis social media

A Lexus "December to Remember" ad series shows how car companies have promoted their vehicles as a much more satisfying and real-life alternative to social media.

Sree Sreenivasan
Sree, who teaches digital media at Columbia, is the university's first chief digital officer.
Sree Sreenivasan
2 min read

While there's a lot of attention paid to how much technology is being built into new cars, Lexus has at least three ads going in the other direction. 

The ads, which were unveiled this week, don't want you to sit around at home doing social media, but encourage you to hit the road. Preferably in a Lexus.

One ad, embedded above, makes fun of hitting the Like button:

This December, remember: you can stay in and "Like" something or you can get out there with your family and actually like something.

The ad below takes on another social media staple, sharing.

This December, remember: you can stay in and "Share" something or you can get out there with your friends and actually share something.

And the one below is a twist on adding friends on social media.

This December, remember: what starts with adding a friend could end with adding a close friend.

Of course, each of the ads will get attention on social media and by posting on YouTube, each video has a share button (though they are so new that none of them have crossed a hundred views as I write this). 

Lexus isn't the first car brand to go after social media. Among the many examples is this ad from Maruti Suzuki, an Indian car company, which positioned its Alto brand last year as "your new search engine."

The gold standard for this kind of ad is one called, appropriately enough, "Social Network," for the Toyota Venza, featuring a 20-something comparing her online-friend count to her that of her parents:

What do you think of the car-vs-computer ad idea? Post your comments below, please.