Last August, Honda's luxury division Acura launched its biggest campaign ever to promote its TLX sedan. Now the focus is on Acura's 2016 ILX sport sedan. After finishing up 2014 with a big sales spike, and closing out February with solid gains, the brand is launching a new digital campaign around college basketball.
Part of the automaker's association with the NCAA, it extends the “Catch if you Can” theme for the car via alignment with the NCAA Tournament Challenge, of which Acura has been a sponsor for three years.
The campaign, “March Memeness,” centers on a live NCAA tournament-contextual meme takeover of espn.com. It features the kind of short video content people like to share with headlines that serve as double entendres for basketball plays, faux pas and achievements.
The effort takes place within a “MemeQuarters” on ESPN, where Acura's “Meme Team” will create the memes aligning with live-action events on court during the NCAA College Basketball Tournament. The effort kicks off friday, but Acura is teasing it with video montages of such moments as a little bird watching a rhinoceros chew grass. Over that is superimposed text that reads “Two points!,” a reference to the rhino’s two horns. Others include a dancing couple doing the tango with a “taking the lead” headline, and a duck submerged headfirst in the water (“Dunk”).
Acura, along with Allstate, is also a partner of the ESPN Tourney Challenge Sweepstakes, where participants can vie for a chance to win $50,000 with a trip to the 2015 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis; and a trip to Bristol, CT to attend a tour of the ESPN Campus, with $2,000 in cash on a gift card.
Acura also has TV running on ESPN and CBS games, per a spokesperson. “So it's a well-integrated promotion starting with this unique digital campaign.”