Leno, Seinfeld Want Acura's NSX

Acura-Leno-N-Seinfeld

You probably know this, but Acura's Super Bowl spot is going to be a minute-long ad featuring Jerry Seinfeld and, at the very end, Jay Leno. The ad, focusing on Acura's NSX supercar concept, will air during the third quarter.

Most people also know that Leno and Seinfeld both have sizable car collections. In fact, when the comedians were playing the Improv years ago in New York, Leno was working as a chauffeur (rumor has it he once drove Jack Lemmon around.)

Acura's Super Bowl ad has something of a "Green Eggs and Ham" story line, with Seinfeld following a man around who happened to grab the first reservation to buy the NSX when it rolls into showrooms this year.

But Seinfeld wants to be first, and so he goes to Seuss-like (Suessical?) extremes to get him to give up the keys to the forthcoming NSX: Seinfeld offers the Soup Nazi to him; he offers him a comatose alien in a body bag; a ride on an extremely fast speedboat; and a sock puppet performance at the guy's bedside recreating “Boardwalk Empire.” When, finally, Seinfeld gives the guy access to his personal Manhattan zip-line transit system, the man gives up the NSX key -- or is about to when suddenly Leno shows up. The ad ends in a familiar setting from Seinfeld's TV program.

"The goal is to present a commercial that not only clearly positions the NSX as the ultimate 'must have' sports car, but does it in a way that is memorable, entertaining and aligned with Acura's brand position," said John Hage, EVP/executive creative director at rp&, Acura's AOR, in a statement.

The Super Bowl campaign includes a pre-game release of a 1-minute, 50-second extended version of "Transactions," PR initiatives, search, seeding and paid media placements. The commercial will be featured in Acura dealerships across the country. Acura and W Hotels have a long-standing association that makes the brand the "preferred vehicle" of the luxury hotel chain. As such, the commercial will also be shown in-car on the MDX's rear-entertainment DVD screen during W Hotel guest rides.

Acura's sibling, Honda, is also using a celebrity, Matthew Broderick, in a Super Bowl spot for the CR-V crossover that recreates the movie that made Broderick a star, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." There is a risk in using celebrities in Super Bowl ads, per media research firm Ace Metrix. The firm notes that last year, ads without celebrities performed 9.2% better than those with them. 

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