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Lexus Woos Us: Our Moment As Faux Richy McRichersons

By Jocelyn Geboy in Miscellaneous on Oct 18, 2005 7:00PM

Headed into this past weekend, Chicagoist was thinking about laying low and maybe going to see a movie. However, we were invited to attend the Lexus Press Preview event on Saturday, and our attitude changed. Sort of. When we heard that we had to get up at 7 am on a Saturday, we weren't sure we wanted to go. Really. Besides, did they know we drive a 1990 Honda Accord?
2005_10 new lexus.jpg

Not only did Lexus not care what kind of car we drive, but they were going to send a car to get us. Okay. This was starting to get intriguing. WHAT? Lexus was going to send a car for us? And then we'd get breakfast, hear about the new line of cars, check out some events , and then the car would take us home at "our leisure?" Okay, okay. We'd get up. We'd check this out. Chicagoist was in.

We got up at 7 on a Saturday (nearly unheard of, save for some cross-country travel), put on some nice clothes and even some makeup (what!? not even for work), just in case there'd be some high-class elbows to rub. The car was there at 7:30, and off we went. We arrived at the Sheraton in Arlington Heights and had a delicious breakfast of hash browns, bacon, french toast, and fruit. Soon enough, it was time for the presentation of the new Lexus line.

They talked about the first ever luxury hybrid, the RX 400h, with the technology that re-uses the energy from braking so owners don't have to plug their cars in. They showed us national television spots that will be airing for this car and some of their other new cars. They talked about some of their new marketing ideas, such as a photomosaic in Times Square (you send in a photo here, and if they use it, it gets flashed up in Times Square and you can see video of when it was up), and life-sized holograms that travel around the country.

An interactive hologram on Michigan Avenue? Coffee sleeves that turn colors (remember hypercolor?) as they warm up ? Chicagoist was sort of getting sucked in. We like pretty, flashy things. Now, it was off to the Taste of Lexus Event: Performance Edition, where luxury ruled, and Chicagoist felt like kind of a poseur.

(Find out what delights awaited us after the jump....)

First, Spa Lexus, where we got a five minute shoulder and back massage. Sweet. Then, we dished with the ad agency peeps that invited us there about the weather in L.A., a future Lexus event that was to be held in some club over on Lake Street in Chicago, and our favorite topic, 80's nostalgia. We met the editor and publisher of Venus magazine, and got on swimmingly.

Off for the test drive, where we got behind the wheel of a Lexus GS 300, because the line was shortest. After warnings that if any of the cones were knocked down, we'd be sent home, we were a little nervous. Normally, we like to give 'er some, but we took it easy. There were quite a few hairpin curves, and the course was too short to really get a feel for the whole experience. We should have driven a BMW, as there were competitor cars available for driving as well. But we didn't want to get back in line.

We were tired from getting up that early, having been out at the Nada Surf show the night before. So, we called our driver and headed back into the city. On the way home, we decided to look in the gift bag that Lexus had given us. It seemed to be the usual fare: notepad, pen, brochure. But wait... what was this? Some sort of media bag? What was in there? A cd player? Could it be a camera? It was better. It was the size of an iPod shuffle, and it was a digital camcorder/digital camera/mp3 player in one. Score! This was *entirely* worth getting up for. We'd be writing something about this, if only to tell on what swag we snuck away with. The instruction manual said it would hold up to 25 minutes of film. Now we can make that documentary about taxi drivers we've had on our minds for awhile.

And although we're still poor, we definitely can groove on a good bribe.

Check out Chicagoist Photos on flickr for more snips of our high-class adventure.