Director Christopher Lee from And. captures luxury in his latest car commercial for Lexus

Christopher Lee’s direction of the latest Lexus commercial is reflective of a director who is considered, detail-oriented and deeply in love with cars. In reality, Chris is a race car driver who happens to be a director at the same time, and he’s probably the fastest director on four wheels.

Chris is most likely best known for his narrative and performance work as a feature film director with a string of international awards behind his name. In recent years though, Chris has also created a lane for himself, so to speak, as a sought-after commercials director with a knack for shooting cars. This comes as no surprise if you consider that Chris builds cars, races cars and can strip a motor down to the very last nut and bolt. So, it’s not without reason that Lexus and the team at M&C Saatchi Abel looked in his direction for the job.

The latest Lexus commercial titled ‘The Luxury of Choice’ highlights the car’s 3-in-1 capabilities as a petrol, electric and hybrid vehicle all in one. The brief was to showcase the car’s abilities by manoeuvring some uniquely South African problems – the all too familiar and unpredictable loadshedding, hiking fuel prices and standstill traffic.

After the success of his first feature film, Chris bought his first performance car, an old BMW M3. Since then, his love of cars and shooting them has become a full-blown obsession. ‘Excuse my French but Chris is car bef*k,’ adds And’s Executive Producer Rob dos Santos. Clients feel secure with Chris in the driving seat, knowing that he comprehends every nuance that makes a car not only perform well but also look stunning on screen. A big part of shooting cars is knowing how to light them; how the light reflects, highlights and bounces off a car are all crucial and something Chris seamlessly executed for Lexus.

When we asked Chris what was the most challenging aspect of the shoot, it ended up not being something technical, but rather something that his knowledge of cars couldn’t help with while shooting. ‘To be honest, the most challenging aspect was the loadshedding schedule of Joburg CBD. They were never on schedule so we had to have 2 street options on different electrical grids ready to shoot so that we could quickly move if the street lights weren’t switched on.

Executive Producer Byron Davis and TV Producer Tsholofelo Muller from M&C Saatchi Abel pulled off some incredible feats of producing to literally stop the city in its tracks to bring this commercial to life. Rob says, ‘Byron and Tsholofelo shut down the entire banking district in Joburg CDB, closing off 10 blocks worth of the city center, shut down the N1 highway alongside the CBD during peak hour traffic (7pm – 8pm! Apologies to people trying to get home), and shut down the whole of the R59 tunnel, all in a single day. They were able to get two jurisdictions worth of cops, with a total of 21 police vehicles and 45 police officers in our entourage as we were led through the city like absolute rockstars. Byron, alongside Tsholofelo, were able to do this in record time and within budget, which is honestly an exceptional feat.’

Chris might know cars inside out, but it’s not the only reason you should consider handing your keys to him. Chris has big-time filmmaking experience and has directed four full-length movies, each enjoying extensive global reach through platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Showmax. These films have achieved sales in over 150 countries and have been featured at prestigious events such as Cannes, Apollo, DIFF, and more. Whether it’s visual storytelling in car ads or narrative performance work, Chris understands storytelling, he’s also always three steps ahead… ‘When I first began shooting features many moons ago, they were self-funded so I always had to have a plan B, C and D on set. Being absolutely precise in my planning was the one thing you could control, so I’ve honed that skill and when it comes to directing ads, where so much can go wrong, being precise is everything.’

Rob dos Santos says of working alongside agency, ‘We couldn’t have pulled this off without the incredible team at M&C Saatchi Abel. Martin van Niekerk (Art Director), Pula Simango (Copywriter) and Bronwen McConnachie (Account Manager) spent months on this project. They put in extensive hours of work and their commitment made our job easy. We have never worked with a team that is so professional and well-prepared. Most importantly, this was an incredibly collaborative effort. Chris worked hand in hand with Pula, Martin, and Gordon Ray (Lead) on perfecting the storyboard and on ensuring we achieved perfection on set. This project was the result of a combined team effort.’

Wanna (s)talk some more? Check out And. on IDIDTHAT and Company Website.

Contact And.

Executive Producer: Byron Davis
+ 27 82 769 9757

View IDIDTHAT Profile
View Website

Produced by the IDIDTHAT Content Studio – Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder

*This content may not be reproduced or used in any part without the prior written consent of IDIDTHAT. Reprints must credit I DID ( as the original publisher of this editorial piece and include a link to this site.

This Editorial is paid for by And. Want our studio to create content that puts your agency/company/kickass ad you made in bright lights for the whole industry to see? View or editorial packages or contact and we’ll make it happen! #Boom