Acura is launching its largest campaign to date, which is also the first from Acura's new agency, the Los Angeles office of Boston-based Mullen. The campaign, while unveiling a new a platform, also focuses on the 2014 MDX SUV. The creative, which is also the work Mullen pitched Acura for the job, bears the tagline "Made for Mankind." For the MDX part of it -- the vehicle goes on sale next month -- the preamble is “The Extremely New MDX."
The effort includes media strategy by new (since March) media agency MediaVest: There’s the usual raft of national and local TV, online video and digital, proprietary location-specific mobile media, social media, and out-of-home and executions for shelter and other upscale print locales. And there are online films that will run on different platforms, including an exclusive sponsorship of Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians Drinking Coffee in Cars.” They will also be tablet-, PC-, social-, mobile- and cinema-friendly.
Gary Robinson, manager, national advertising and brand at Acura, said the target for the campaign is the younger buyer modeled on a Silicon Valley tech exec.
"We have been rethinking the brand for a few years, taking time to speak to buyers. One thing we stumbled on is a niche within luxury: a new type of consumer. It’s people like Mark Zuckerberg -- tech-oriented 'doers' who are quietly changing the world. They may have a lot of money but are not into the traditional traffic of luxury; they don't need to wear it on their sleeve."
He said that these consumers want technology that -- like their other digital devices -- offer "man/machine synergy, while lots of brands are focused on engineering, and the car itself.”
Peter Rosch, executive creative director at Mullen, said the "extremely new" moniker for the 2014 MDX and the "Made for Mankind" tag are intended to evoke a luxury car built "with you in mind."
"Acura doesn't have the history of prestige other more-established competitors have, so we are establishing more prestige in ads with one voice in all creative. It's really intended to be the exemplar of everything you see going forward," he said.
Robinson said there will be a total of five spots. each showing a different aspect of the car. "The first is artful with a strong human side, then down to the purchase funnel, it's increasingly about the car."
He said the media strategy focuses on video with ownership of media and premium placement on digital properties being central to that, e.g., the Seinfeld sponsorship. "Our competitors have huge ad budgets and we need to be smart and efficient."