Photo by Tenaya HillsUsed to be you knew the holiday season had arrived when you saw that Budweiser commercial where the Clydesdales pull a Christmas tree through a snow-covered Currier & Ives landscape. These days, it's that Lexus ad where folks cleverly drop car keys into the hands of loved ones who, strangely, don't so much seem thrilled to be given a luxury car as mildly amused. While it's common knowledge that Clydesdales are the backbone of the foliage-distribution industry, I wondered if people actually give Lexuses as gifts and, if so, where do they get those gargantuan bows? I asked Millie Plotnick, who for the last dozen years has been the assistant to the owner and general manager at Tustin Lexus.
Do people really buy Lexuses as gifts?
Yes. We've ordered five of those giant bows because people tell us they want to give them as gifts and they want the bow.
Yeah, the bow is cool. Where do you get bows that big?
We order from Easy Lettering. It's a sign company. Michaels also carries them. They're actually not that expensive. We pay $23.
The bow really makes the gift.
My husband got me a car as a gift—not for Christmas—and it had a bow on it.
No, PT Cruiser, which I've shown competitively and won a few trophies for.
Is there a last-minute Christmas rush on Lexuses?
Every year we try to get out of here early on Christmas Eve, and every year we have people buying cars on Christmas Eve.
Have you ever had anyone who got a Lexus come back and say they didn't like the color?
Do you really think someone is going to get a car as a gift and say they didn't like it? No.
The reason I ask is that the people in the ads don't seem overly thrilled to be getting a car, let alone a Lexus, you know? They react like they just got a nice sweater.
What do you expect? It's TV. When I got my car, I was thrilled to death. I was yelling and freaking out and calling 80 million people.
Yeah, but you got a PT Cruiser.
To get that big reaction, you need the element of surprise. When someone buys a Lexus, where do they hide it?
Some people keep them here, but we don't encourage it. Most of them keep them at the homes of friends.
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Where did your husband hide yours?
He actually had it delivered here at the dealership.
So you were yelling and freaking out at work?
They're used to it.