Lexus pulls a fast one for an April Fool’s Day prank


If one had stumbled across Lexus’ press room this week, one would have read a new release about Lexus’ amazing new customization for new drivers.

Through a partnership with Mountain View, CA-based 23andMe, Inc., the leading personal genetics company, Lexus stated that they would, ahem, soon offer the ultimate answer to vehicle customization. Called “Genetic Select, it was reportedly a revolutionary new car buying experience that takes the only thing that matters into consideration when selecting a vehicle — the driver’s DNA.

The statement went onto say, this landmark innovation takes about 10 minutes and doesn’t involve a single signature or question. Lexus’ service staff will collect a saliva sample and send it off to 23andMe for sequence testing. Within 48 hours, the perfect vehicle will arrive at the customer’s doorstep. The driver won’t even need a key to operate it—the revolutionary new saliva-powered start-system operates via a DNA ignition sensor on the steering wheel. Customers could begin making their appointments at their local Lexus dealerships starting April 1.

For example, if the customer does not have a genetic variant for bald spots, the car will come equipped with a sun roof. Or those genetically prone to more freckles will receive custom window tinting.

In fact, 23andMe’s understanding of genetic variants is so precise, Genetic Select will enable Lexus to deliver the perfect color, trim, horsepower allotment, seating configuration, and radio presets, within a 99.99967 percent degree of accuracy. It will be impossible to tell where the driver ends and where the car begins. Watch the demonstration video from AOR Team One and production company charlieuniformtango below.

But before you do, realize this is ONE HELLUVA HILARIOUS PRANK!!!





Lexus, which is known for taking itself fairly seriously, really did something as unexpected as their new redesigns. And that unexpectedness fooled some other publications. Directed by charliefuniformtango’s Paul Goldman, the 90-second video is a skit right up there with some of the best ones SNL has to offer.

Craig Crawford, Group Creative Director of Team One, had this to say to Reel Chicago, “April Fools’ Day ideas work best when the promise they make is true of the brand the other 364 days of the year, too. From the day the first Lexus dealership opened, this brand has put their customers, and their needs, first. That’s still true every day, including April 1.”

He added, “In general, April Fools’ Day ideas are tricky. You’re threading the needle between plausible, and ridiculous. Our partnership with 23andMe gave us both. As partners, they were amazing. They supported this idea from day one, and gave us all the space we needed to make it break through.”

ALSO READ: Lexus, Black Panther team up for Super Bowl LII

I don’t really know how to end this article except by awarding Lexus, Team One and charlieuniformtango “Reel Ad of the Week!” And that is no prank.

Drivers, lick your engines. LOL.

Title: “Genetic Select”
Client: Lexus
Agency: Team One
Associate Director Business Affairs: Janet Anderson
   Senior Producer: Leah Bohl
   Executive Producer: Sam Walsh
   Chief Creative Officer: Chris Graves
   Group Creative Director: Craig Crawford
   Group Creative Director: Jon Ruppel
   ACD/Art Director: Austin Muncy
   Copywriter: Jason Brady + Andrew Crawford
   Senior Project Manager: Erica Hara
   Account Management Supervisor: Jourdin Hendrix

Production Company: charlieuniformtango
   Executive Producer: Jeff Elmore
   Director: Paul Goldman
   Producer: Max Simpson
   DP: Peter Simonite

Editorial Company: charlieuniformtango
   Executive Producer: Mary Alice Butler
   Editor: Jack Waldrip
   Assistant Editor: Andrea Norby
   President/CEO: Lola Lott

Post-Production Company: charlieuniformtango
   VFX Supervisor: David Hannah
   Flame Lead: Allen Robbins
   Flame: Artie Pena
   Motion Graphics: Tony Wann
   Post Producer: Andrea Norby
   Telecine: Adolfo Martinelli
   Colorist: Adolfo Martinelli

Music Co: Founder
   Composer: Founder
   Creative Director: Christian Pulfer
   Executive Producer: Christian Pulfer

Voiceover: Minnie Driver

Recording Studio: charlieuniformtango
   Sound Mixer: Jake Kluge
   Assistant Audio: Chris Walker

Contact Colin Costello at or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.