To showcase and promote its CT 200h hybrid hatchback, Lexus has forged its first partnership with Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming system. How will Lexus reach out to Xbox gamers? By hosting an all-night Halo: Reach marathon tomorrow (December 18th) that will give weary-eyed gamers the opportunity to win prizes while playing from dusk 'til dawn. The all-night experience takes place within the Xbox LIVE online network and gamers will have access to episodes of Lexus' "Darkcasting" podcast which star actress and comedian Whitney Cummings and, of course, the CT 200h hybrid.

Lexus is offering a slew of prizes, including thousands of Microsoft points that will be given away throughout the night. To partake in the festivities, Xbox gamers must download the free Lexus All-Nighter Gamer Picture, fire up Halo: Reach and play away. The gaming action runs from 6:00 p.m. on December 18th through 6:00 a.m. on the 19th.

If you're wondering why Lexus choose to team up with the Xbox gaming community to promote its CT 200h hybrid, then look no further than this statement put out by David Nordstrom, the company's vice president of marketing:
We're looking to stimulate conversation with a new customer for Lexus, for whom gaming is highly engaging and very social. This partnership allows us to be a part of the Xbox community for the first time and give a little something back to gamers just for doing what they do best.
How many Microsoft points would it take to equal $29,000, anyway?

[Source: Lexus]


PRESS RELEASE

Lexus Pulls an 'All-Nighter' with Xbox LIVE for CT 200h


In First Xbox Partnership, Lexus Offers Community Entertaining Content, Prizing Opportunities on Behalf of Its New Luxury Hybrid

TORRANCE, Calif. (December 15, 2010) – In support of its all-new CT 200h hybrid, Lexus has forged its first partnership with Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft for the Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network "All-Nighter." On Saturday, December 18, Lexus will sponsor the all-night gaming marathon for "Halo: Reach," giving gamers the opportunity to download Lexus content and enter to win prizes for playing from dusk 'til dawn.

The "All-Nighter" custom sponsorship includes a branded destination experience within Xbox LIVE where gamers can access episodes of "Darkcasting," the first after dark incar talk show, starring actress and comedian Whitney Cummings. The online show, which premiered November 4, features interviews from inside the CT with social media influencers, young entrepreneurs and movers and shakers from technology, fashion, media and entertainment.

Gamers can also register to win prizes by playing "Halo: Reach" against other players from across the country all night long. Every hour from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. PT, eight players will each win 4,000 Microsoft Points, which can be used to purchase Arcade games, game add-ons, movie and music downloads, merchandise and more. With 4,000 Microsoft Points, gamers can download approximately five Arcade games, three new movie purchases or 50 Zune songs, for example. To enter, gamers need to download the free Lexus All-Nighter Gamer Picture and play "Halo: Reach." The longer they play "Halo: Reach," the greater their odds of winning.

"We're looking to stimulate conversation with a new customer for Lexus, for whom gaming is highly engaging and very social," said Dave Nordstrom, Lexus vice president of marketing. "This partnership allows us to be a part of the Xbox community for the first time and give a little something back to gamers just for doing what they do best."

The "All-Nighter" sponsorship is the latest in the multi-phased introduction of the CT 200h, a luxury hybrid like no other on the market and the new gateway into the Lexus brand.

The "Darker Side of Green" campaign for the CT re-casts the hybrid as anything but flowers and sunshine through a variety of innovative entertainment, social media and emerging technology programs.

"As the Xbox LIVE audience grows and broadens, we continue to create innovative ways for advertisers to extend their reach and deeply engage with consumers," said Mark Kroese, General Manager of Microsoft's IEB Advertising Business Group. "Our partnership with Lexus is an example of both companies bringing the right message to the right audience at the right time."

The stylish, sporty five-door CT 200h will deliver a dynamic, fun-to-drive experience when it goes on sale in the U.S. in early March 2011. As Lexus' fifth hybrid vehicle, the CT 200h will have the luxury industry's best combined EPA-estimated fuel economy with 42 mpg. The CT is powered by a 1.8-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gas engine with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and Lexus Hybrid Drive technology. The CT 200h features four drive modes: Sport, when the driver wants a more dynamic experience, or Normal, Eco, or EV to satisfy more typical day-to-day driving needs. The CT 200h can operate in EV mode for up to one mile driving under electric motor power alone in certain conditions. In addition, Sport mode provides less intrusive operation of the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC) systems, allowing drivers to fully exploit the full hybrid's extended dynamic abilities while throttle settings are modified to give a faster response to driver inputs. The CT will have a base MSRP of $29,120.

To learn more about "Darkcasting," visit www.darkersideofgreen.com/darkcasting. For more details on the Lexus "All-Nighter" contest, including complete rules and eligibility, please visit www.xbox.com/lexusall-nightersweeps.

About Lexus
Lexus is the leading luxury automaker in the United States. With its reputation for high-quality products and exemplary customer service from its 228 dealers, Lexus has been the top-selling luxury automaker for ten years in a row. In addition, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader and will soon offer five hybrids that provide the best in innovative technology and firstclass luxury. When Lexus was established in 1989, it offered two models of vehicles. Now, more than 20 years later, Lexus offers variations of 11 vehicles, from the entry-level IS 250 to its first V10 supercar, the LFA.
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