TORRANCE, Calif., Nov. 12, 2012 – Acura’s “Season of Reason” campaign continues for a third consecutive year with a comprehensive campaign starring three instantly identifiable personalities: Dr. Phil McGraw, host of the No. 1–rated daytime talk show and author of six bestselling books, Suze Orman, two-time Emmy® Award-winning TV host and bestselling author, as well as the legendary Santa Claus. The campaign, which encourages the purchase of lasting luxury over frivolous holiday items, is the work of rp&, Acura’s long-time agency of record.
“In challenging economic times, luxury buyers still appreciate the finer things, but they are smarter about their purchase decisions,” said Jeff Conrad, vice president, Acura division sales. “During the holidays, people are traditionally encouraged to live it up and spend—after all, it’s only once a year. With this campaign, we hope to remind people to spend smart and buy what you’re going to value long after the holiday season has passed.”
The spots, shot by Park Pictures Director Alison MacLean, put a bulls-eye on the self-indulgent impulse buys that are a hallmark of holiday culture. Dr. Phil, starring in his first-ever commercial, Suze Orman or Santa screech up in an Acura just in time to stop wild-eyed shoppers from unloading their wallets to take home a new dress, a giant Christmas tree or an animatronic Santa. The intervention continues as the ambassadors usher their students into the car and, during a high-speed ride, talk them out of their unreasonable purchases and remind them to instead opt for the smarter decision. The voice-over spokesman, actor James Spader, then says, “This holiday, listen to the voice of reason. Acura’s Season of Reason sales event.”
“Acura is a luxury brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously,” said rp& ECD John Hage. Dr. Phil and Suze Orman are known for their no-nonsense intervention style. And Santa—he knows if you’ve been naughty or nice. Together, we thought they could be the voices of reason reminding people to spend smarter.”
In each spot, the Acura MDX, TL and ILX act almost like characters, their movements carefully balanced with the dialogue to simultaneously showcase the vehicles’ performance and reinforce the ambassadors’ appeals to reason. The celebrities handled the stunt driving, rather than using a green screen, to produce a more realistic performance and appealing aesthetic.
Spots will air on high-profile network programming such as NFL on CBS as well as on cable and spot TV. Campaign creative will be featured in digital and email marketing, POP kits, display ads and customizable dealer assets, including print, radio and banners. The campaign runs through January 2.