Fleet News

Web watch: we review what’s hot on the net

IT’S very difficult to find information on a new car without coming across some manufacturer PR twaddle somewhere along the line. Whether it’s a ‘beautifully exotic engine’ or a ‘design that instigates feelings of passion’, it will always be part of the new car package.

So instead of straying from the beaten path, Lexus’s site for its new IS plays it safe and is – ‘captivating in the extreme’.

The site opens with an impressive intro, complete with swirling graphics, which leads into the silver sci-fi homepage. The Lexus brand is more established in the US and critics claim it still doesn’t hold the same aspirational appeal in the UK as its German prestige rivals.

This IS mini-site portrays Lexus in a highly professional way, with each section of the site smoothly sliding to the next. This can only help boost Lexus’s brand awareness in the UK.

A short marketing blurb on the car is displayed to the left of the homepage. Click ‘continue’ to proceed to the main part of the site. Atmospheric music will play, but don’t worry, this can be turned off in the top right corner.

This part of the site lays on the marketing babble quite thickly. A silver IS faces the front with a message saying ‘surface is depth’. Users can swing a scroller bar left or right for the silver IS to turn black (‘light is shade’) or white (‘still is moving’). I don’t quite understand what any of that means, but it looks great. If fleet managers require a brochure or a test drive, they can fill out an online form on the site. They will then be contacted by phone or email. The good thing about this feature is that it remembers the details entered once, for both forms.

The interior or exterior of the IS can be viewed virtually by clicking on the thumbnail images at the bottom of the homepage. Fleet managers can look at some of the IS’s features through static hi-resolution images and accompanying text. If users prefer moving images, they can click on ‘play movie’.

The lowdown:

The site: www.lexusis.co.uk

We like: Attractive design features

We don’t like: Somewhat baffling

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