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Takumi cats and luxury cars

How to be amazing

Lexus presented us with a brilliant challenge. They wanted us to change the perceptions of their car company with an online experience that stood out from the rest and showcased their transformation into a global luxury lifestyle brand. Everyone who visited the site should ‘Experience Amazing’ with an interactive story that encouraged them to come back for more and invite their friends along for the ride.

A unique game that drove engagement and embodied the Lexus brand

iphone screen capture

Inspired by the masters

After a coffee-driven brainstorm we had our idea. It was based around one of Lexus’ key differentiators: Takumi Craftsmanship.

Trained for decades, Takumi masters are hired by Lexus to provide traditional skills, philosophy and designs to their very modern engineering. The work of the Takumi impacts on everything from dashboards to seat covers and adds the extra luxury loved by customers around the world.

We aimed to capture this personification of craft and quality with an experience that would bring to life what it meant to be a Takumi Master and draw the user into their world.

Paper perfection

One fact stood out for us. Every day, Takumi Masters have to fold a piece of paper into an origami cat in less than 90 seconds – with their non dominant hand. If they failed in their task then they had to go home. No questions asked.

The origami challenge beautifully illustrated everything we wanted to say so we started to work on how we could recreate it online.

The game we developed simulates this origami task through a new and unique experience. Users perform a series of drawings on screen following the exact steps of folding an origami cat. And, like the Takumi, they have to use their non-dominant hand.  

Virtual Origami

How do you recreate paper folding on a digital platform? Our application responds to user input and touch, subtly reinforcing a sense of complexity and difficulty to give a rich, engaging experience. The accuracy of each individual fold is scored and, at the end of the experience, users are given a grade based on their performance. Only the quickest and most accurate participants will achieve the highest rank.

Real life feel

The 3D environment and foldable paper was built using CSS 3D. This meant the light and shadows could be realistically simulated. The origami paper also features lifelike textures, embossed with traditional Japanese patterns. These virtual pieces of paper are generated randomly creating a multitude of colour and pattern combinations.

We also did a lot of behind the scenes optimisation to get the 3D elements of the experience to run smoothly and consistently across devices.

Origami cat back
Origami cat front

Purrfect results 

Our playful and elegant experience has played a key role in creating a connection with users of the website. The finished project was translated into 18 languages and rolled out to 39 pan-European markets.

  • Completion rates for the experience range from 30-55% depending on the market - very strong for a 10 step experience
  • 7% of users who saw Takumi Cat content went on the car configurator and 0.6% went on to access the test drive form
  • For the UK: 2% of the Origami Cats users shared their experience on social media, advocating both the tool and Lexus
  • Social shares, along with winning FWA site of the day in February, boosted direct traffic

Try it for yourself - it’s a lot of fun:

Lexus Takumi across device screens

We’re delighted with the results our long-term partner AmazeRealise has delivered, providing a more than solid foundation for ongoing digital transformation of our business, while supporting us as we establish Lexus as a global luxury lifestyle brand.

— Christophe Meulemans, Communications Manager, Lexus Europe

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