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CB77
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Acura TV    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-22-2012 10:15
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Here we go again...the same “Smart Luxury” campaign that ran the last several Christmas seasons, with the same dismal results. What’s this in opposition to…”Dumb Luxury”? (all those Mercedes, Lexus buyers). I don’t see a couple of has-beens like Dr. Phil and Suze Orman being big motivators for someone to go buy an Acura.

These ads are obviously patterned after last Christmas's Mercedes and Lexus Holiday ads, which both stressed luxury. Now along comes good old Honda, which prides itself on being odd man out, with an ad pushing economy, while trying to sell what they want perceived as a line of luxury cars.

I can’t see this working with either of these target markets:

> Middle income people who might be attracted to the idea of saving money on a car purchase, but still probably cannot (or will not) buy an Acura.

> Higher income people who might be considering an Acura, but then see this ad pushing frugality, which further tarnishes Acura's luxury image. They are not impressed by this…they are not interested in frugality or economy, they are after conspicuous consumption…one of the main reasons for their purchase decision.


All this ad does is further hinder Honda’s effort to gain Tier 1 status with the Acura line, which they now acknowledge they can’t do, anyway. This is especially sad because they are obviously pouring a ton of TV money into these ads (at least for air-time, I doubt that Dr. Phil or Suze cost very much these days).

superchg2
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Re: Acura TV    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-22-2012 10:30
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I think right now that the "Smart Luxury" from Honda would definitely be a 2013 Accord EX-L (pick your engine) over anything that their Acura division has to offer!
TonyEX
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Re: Acura TV    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-22-2012 12:06
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I'd love to see AHM emphasized the sportiness of the Acura line instead.

The old ad with the TL going up and down a very twisty road was right up that line.

The should have ads touting SH-AWD in the snow, ice, etc... perhaps show the competition in their ultimate driving machines sliding over the side of the road...

They should emphasize reliability. like an ad where a bunch of Acura drivers keeps passing flat bed tow trucks loaded with other brands....

"Smart luxury" is an oxymoron. Luxury is never smart, it's emotional.
CB77
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Re: Acura TV    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-22-2012 12:12
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TonyE...yes, I agree with your sportiness comment. If you can't beat them with the snob-appeal approach (which has never been a Honda strength), maybe you can with engineering (which has always been a Honda strength). It seems like current Acura management has forgotten this, or, worse yet, never knew this.

TonyEX
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Re: Acura TV    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-22-2012 13:30
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CB77 wrote:

TonyE...yes, I agree with your sportiness comment. If you can't beat them with the snob-appeal approach (which has never been a Honda strength), maybe you can with engineering (which has always been a Honda strength). It seems like current Acura management has forgotten this, or, worse yet, never knew this.




Unfortunately, "Acura Management" has never known what Acura stands for.

When the cars first came out, the engineers hit a home run with the Legend and Integra. It was like, "look what we can do better than the Europeans" and "Japanese cars are no longer cheap and tinny". It woke up the automotive world to the maturity of Honda (and soon Toyota and Nissan).

Honda has the AUDACITY to shake it up with GLOBAL products that were fun to drive, reliable, efficient and -for the first time on a global scale- luxurious.

Soon there after, the second gen Legend with the MT6 coupe and second gen Integra with DOHC VTEC and the NSX came out.

Acura was on a roll. After easily dispatching Volvo and Saab it was well on its way to shoot BMW and scaring the hell out of Ferrari.

Then what happened?

Decided to dump the names in North America.

The rest is history.

While Infinity almost shafted itself with good cars and ads featuring nice rock gardens, Lexus went for the jugular and hit Benz with a 40 ton truck. MB has never recovered from Lexus, IMHO.

Meanwhile, Acura... introduced a TL that was more luxurious than the RL. Huh? WTF?

A 2.2CL that could not get out of its way? Should have never been.

A 3.0CL with a suspension that was too soft.

The 2.5 TL should have never been. It was fine in the MT5 Vigor (we had one) but a dud with the AT4.

Going back to the first management shuffle in the early 90s when the cars went alphanumeric and completely lost the brand value that AHM had built by being first out of the gate with a Japanese $20K car.

By now, we're where? Past the third reorganization of the "Acura management"?

Honestly, I just wish they'd get off their rocker, fire the whole lot and start again.

Legend MUST BE LARGER THAN TL
TL is fine in size... maybe a little smaller inside.
TSX should be a SWB Accord. Needs the wagon.
ILX needs a huge rething with lower prices and better content.

MDX and RDX are fine.

A top line coupe based on the RL and mid line coupe on the TL are also needed.

HMC, AHM and Acura's brand management need to understand (or face up to the fact) that LUXURY is not SMART, it is an irrational desire to get something for its own sake, the reasons may be status, self fulfillment, sybaritic desires.. whatever.

If you go rational, you never spend the money on luxury. The raison d'etre for a luxury brand dissappears. You buy a Honda instead. (*)

I mean, I'm an engineer and I get IT.

So, why can't the supposedly experts at management don't get IT?


(*) BTW, Honda's engineers do get IT too. Just compare the feel of an Acura with a Honda and you immediately realize that the cars MAKE YOU FEEL different. This is what LUXURY is all about.

Perhaps Acura's PR line should emphasize how the Acura cars MAKE YOU FEEL... Start comparing Acura to something like Costo where you can buy some really good products at a reasonable price. NOTHING at Costco is 'cheap', they only carry good stuff.


CivicB18
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Re: Acura TV    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-22-2012 18:05
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I really don't have a problem with "smart luxury" as my problem lies in how Acura uses that mentality to market the brand. Honda's have always been considered "the thinking mans car" and I believe Honda is trying to get Acura that same kind of perception.

Acura first and foremost needs to find a formula, a mission and direction that truly define what the brand represents. Everyone here and even automotive publications know the engineering expertise is there yet Honda has yet to fully, fully invest in Acura.

~Patrick
M Type X
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Re: Acura TV    (Score: 1, Normal) 11-27-2012 15:14
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I just want to reiterate TonyE's comments. Properly figure out the sedan lineup, then bring out coupes. A couple of decent selling SUVs, a mess of poorly marketed sedans, and a halo car do not make a viable luxury brand.

The upcoming TLX has to satisfy both customers coming out of the TSX and the TL, in addition to new buyers. It may be more difficult than American Honda thinks.
 
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