To a large majority of the premium executive sedan buyers, Japanese luxury brands such as Lexus and Infiniti don’t even register as left-field alternatives, let alone natural rivals to the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. Apparently, they are being hypnotised to think as such, according to Lexus.

Lexus USA’s new video ad – simply named Hypnotize – is cleverly positioned to serve as a wake up call for its target customers, urging them to look past the image barrier. It centres on the Lexus GS executive sedan and its German rivals, the Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 Series and Audi A6.

The premium Japanese marque claims that the GS 350 trumps them all, by virtue of it having leather upholstery as standard (unlike the Merc – in the US, at least), rear-wheel drive as opposed to the A6’s front-wheel drive layout and of course, more power from its six-cylinder engine than the 5 Series’ four banger.

Watch the ad for yourself (and how it was shot below), and tell us what you think. So, do you agree you’ve been hypnotised all this while?

Closer to home, we’ve pitched the GS 250 against the BMW 520i, Audi A6 2.0T and Infiniti M25 (now called the Q70). Read our full comparison feature to see if we think the Lexus is a worthy rival to the usual suspects (no, we don’t mean the Infiniti).

Lexus GS 250