Lexus is pulling out all the stops to promote its new hybrid hatchback – the CT 200h. Making the car look like a star is vital in creating appeal, and with the Dark Ride viral ad campaign, Lexus follows the footsteps of Audi and famously BMW with its “The Hire” series of short films featuring celebs like Madonna and Clive Owen. No human stars for Lexus though; the car is the only star.

“With ‘Dark Ride’ we are creating a unique virtual test drive opportunity so consumers can experience this hybrid, that is like no other, months before it is available at dealerships in early 2011. In it, consumers play a co-starring role as the fun-to-drive Lexus CT 200h is put through its paces. By guiding the driver and the CT through a series of adventures, customers will be exposed to ‘The Darker Side of Green,’ which is completely different than the way hybrids are usually portrayed,” explains Lexus marketing VP Dave Nordstrom.

Based on the LF-Ch concept, the much toned down CT 200h is a Golf sized five-door hatch powered by a 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine with an electric motor.

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