Brand Building with Boring Messages
How Acura turned a run of the mill safety spot into a compelling brand message.
I can only imagine the scene as the executives at Acura are sitting around a board room table with their ad agency and share the exciting news that they want their next ad campaign to focus on safety. Somehow I don’t think the creative team got too excited about that brand message.
How could they possibly make a safety ad exciting?
We’ve seen it thousands of times. The exact same commercial. Male voiceover sets the stage about the need for safety. Car begins its slo mo journey across the screen toward a wall. Voice continues, talking about safety awards won. Camera catches the impending crash from multiple angles. Fade to black.
So how could Acura possibly create an ad that would build the brand (which is all about differentiation) while telling the same story that has been told hundreds of times before?
Never have I watched a crash test dummy perform their duty and felt any emotion (the point of branding is building an emotional connection). Yet, watching this Acura spot caused some waterworks. And I don’t think it was the pollen in the air.
It is a simple story beautifully told. As the Acura engineer puts each crash test dummy into the car you realize that they are human like, probably representing his wife and kids. The last dummy he puts into the car is in the driver’s seat and that one looks just like the engineer.
Like a ton of bricks the emotional connection is made. The Acura safety engineers don’t just see them as dummies. They are family.
Hence the tagline “When you don’t think of them as dummies, something amazing happens.”
Some of the reviews have called the ads creepy. I agree that the look of the dummies is a little disconcerting. But the point is made. Acura takes the safety of its vehicles very personally and it really matters.