For Honda's Acura Campaign, Media Buy Is Power

Acuar ad spot-bottleHonda's luxury division, Acura, is rolling out a redesigned flagship--the TL sedan, with the division's largest campaign to date.

The effort, via RPA, Santa Monica, Calif., includes a series of five 30-second TV spots that elaborate the idea that the TL is the most powerful Acura ever built. With their focus on metaphors of power and strength and design, the art-house ads diverge from previous Acura ads that were rich in computer graphics and focused on in-car technology.

The effort--comprised of five TV spots, with three starting now and two later--elaborates the power theme with creative that shows slow-motion video of an object impacting and crashing through a barrier, then emerging as the TL. One shows a bullet entering a bottle and smashing through the back of it with voiceover saying: "Precision is power"; another shows a fist smashing through a board with a "Strength is power" message. And one shows a diver leaping from a board and entering the water, and proclaims: "Grace is power."



An agency representative says the brand did not have to hammer the high-mpg message because consumers associate the brand with high fuel economy. "At the same time, the Acura target audience is buying vehicles for different reasons. The theme of 'Power' communicated throughout the campaign doesn't just refer to horsepower," she says.

The ads will air on network series premieres, Monday Night Football, college football and SportsCenter on ABC and ESPN, and in movie theatres. Acura is also supporting the launch with a category-exclusive sponsorship of Pac-10 college football. The company will also run a two-minute HD "featurette" in-car weather radar system--the first such feature for the category--on The Weather Channel.

The online effort includes a roadblock today on Yahoo, a buy on network programming on hulu, and The video banner ads click open to a microsite that remains embedded within the Yahoo page, so the viewer is not directed elsewhere.

"This is a different approach with a very deliberate feel that focuses on the TL being very present and very large," says the agency spokesperson. "We sought to create something that could be beautifully translated on TV and online."

The company says Acura is the first-ever automotive advertiser on with a home-page takeover with rich-video banners. There's more: a multi-sport, season-long category-exclusivity on's "Power Rankings" area.

Print will run in over 25 business, lifestyle, and fashion magazines such as BusinessWeek, Condé Nast Traveler, The Economist, and The New Yorker.

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