Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Lexus Films? L Studio Web TV

This looks interesting.... L Studio is the newly launched broadband TV platform from Lexus US. Billed as "a celebration of innovation in all its forms", it seems to be somewhere between a lifestyle-orientated varioation on BMW Films and a video customer mag: while it doesn't have the same level of star quality as BMW Films, there are high quality shorts starring Lisa Kudrow and Famke Janssen among others. This is the trailer from YouTube

What is interesting is the lack of obvious cars or branding: there is a clip from an artist deconstructing a Lexus car and rebuilding it as art, but then there are also clips from Japanese architect Shigeru Ban on building from pre-existing materials, about the symbolism of shoes, and on Ray Manzarek of the Doors on writing organ basslines. The Lisa Kudrow series, Web Therapy, is a 15 part comedy that is driving most of the conversation about L Studio so far according to SocialMention. According to the actress,

"Connecting with Lexus gave us a chance to develop an idea we've wanted to do for a while -- that's truly designed to be web content. It's a great opportunity to be part of such a unique experiment in entertainment"

While the site has a nasty whiff of microsite about it, including a lack of any RSS or sharing tools, it is ranking 1st on Google for "L Studio" and 4th for "Lstudio". Most of the content has been uploaded to YouTube, although traffic levels are pretty low there (like between 10-250 views - top traffic referrer being Passionate Pursuit, Lexus's fan site), and there are currently 4 subscribers.

I don't think that traffic levels are really the issue at the moment - it will stand or fall by its content, and sharing tools are easy to add. What is important is that the films themselves are genuinely interesting/funny/different/etc, and they are branded content that positions the brand as a creator and distributor, rather than sponsor. If they can maintain the "creator" status, and release control over the 'distributor", then this might be worth watching


windo said...

i heard somewhere that if "content is king, then conversation is it's queen." something that i see lacking on this "online community"/microsite right now.

Graeme Wood said...

Don't think this site has lived up to the potential I saw in it on launch (mainly based on relatively big names' involvement, lack of overt salesiness, and diverse range of content). Looks like another disproval of the 'if you build it they will come' school of planning.

Definitely agree with the content/conversation duality. My fave description is from Cory Doctorow

"Content isn't king. If I sent you to a desert island and gave you the choice of taking your friends or your movies, you'd choose your friends -- if you chose the movies, we'd call you a sociopath. Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about"

windo said...

Bravo! love that quote from CD. BTW, i'm now working freelance at the agency that is redesigning L Studios. I think you'll approve of the site once it's back up and running again. will keep you posted. :)

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