- Acura has premiered a mobile-first advertising campaign called “What A Ride” to promote its 2018 TLX performance luxury sedan, according to a press release.
- Developed with Mullen Lowe, the campaign was shot by vertical cameras with smartphone advertising in mind. Acura will leverage customer shopper profiles to target the 2018 TLX digital efforts. The auto brand is tapping Tapad’s mobile vertical video platform, Facebook canvas and carousel ad units, and Snapchat’s Snap Ads Web view ads. RPA is handling the media buying.
- TLX 2018 spots are also slated to run on premium cable networks and online video platforms. Acura highlighted local television ads will be aimed at important sales markets and Hispanic consumers. The brand will pinpoint households through addressable TV. When the mobile-first TLX 2018 content is translated to horizontal formats like television, the ads are divided into three parts. The zippy campaign features hip-hop recording artist and producer Kid Ink's hypnotic anthem, "The Movement."
As advertising outlays swing digital, Honda-owned Acura is following suit, with the channel accounting for 40% of the brand's spending on the “What A Ride” campaign, according to Ad Age. EMarketer predicts spending on digital ads will top spending on television ads this year, although marketers are definitely not fleeing television completely. Acura’s mobile inclination for its campaign promoting the 2018 TLX makes sense given the sedan is aimed at young, affluent car buyers. However, the auto maker’s integrated strategy has it keeping a firm foot in television while taking a mobile-first approach, demonstrating traditional channels remain critical in the marketing mix.
The mobile environment gives Acura opportunities to iterate the ads for better consumer targeting and creative. The brand's use of vertical video is smart as this is the preferred viewing mode on mobile and shows how brands are increasingly shooting video for mobile first and then repurposing content for TV, where landscape mode is the norm, rather than vice versa. The challenge for marketers is figuring out how to leverage vertical video on TV, something Acura appears to be addressing by dividing the TV spots into three panels.
Acura also kept celebrities and dialog out of the spots so it could more easily adjust them for market conditions. As an example, Ad Age suggested the brand could promote all-wheel drive cars in cold-weather cities by inserting messages into the ad without totally revamping it. Acura has a lot riding on the performance of the “What A Ride” campaign, pun intended. Honda-owned auto brand’s sales fell nearly 29% in the first three months of 2017. Meanwhile, Tesla might be the most talked about company in the car industry, and its highly-anticipated small sedan will likely compete on price with the 2018 TLX.