SAN FRANCISCO -- Acura is targeting affluent, 30-something professional males and young families when its compact RDX crossover goes on sale in August.
The first spots are expected to begin Aug. 7, with the theme "The new state of the art." The tag line: "The all-new technocharged Acura RDX."
Jeff Conrad, vice president of advertising for American Honda Motor Co., says that because the car is new, the commercials will focus on the attributes of the RDX, with little voiceover.
He says the ads will be done in a fun way, using graphics to show the car performing various feats. It's Acura's attempt to connect with the consumer in a lighthearted manner.
"The ads will be upscale in looks, emphasizing technology," Conrad says.
The car is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. An optional technology package includes a 410-watt surround-sound audio system with 10 speakers.
Most of the 15- and 30-second spots will be on local TV and network cable TV.
Conrad also has partnered with the local ABC stations in Acura's top six markets for the Technocharged RDX Tour. These one-day parties in September will be in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The events will allow people to get acquainted with the vehicle.
One person at each event will win the chance to visit the ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn.; videotape the visit; and then replay the visit on their local ABC station.
Acura dealers also will host "Turbo Bash" parties in their markets to show off the RDX.
Conrad will not divulge the budget for the launch but says it is less than $50 million. "Within the luxury category and the volumes we're talking about, it's a major launch," he says. "You can't launch something on a shoestring."
The vehicle goes on sale in August with an estimated price of between $32,000 and $38,000. Acura expects about 13,000 sales this year and 40,000 annually. Conrad says the technology package will represent about 40 percent of the sales.
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