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How Acura is marketing its newest sedan in an SUV world

The spot, referred to as “Break the Silence,” is a part of Acura’s bigger “Less Talk, More Drive” marketing campaign that debuted final 12 months and places an emphasis on visuals over dialogue, together with an action-packed spot called “Beat That.” The strategy is extra simply transferable to digital marketing, the place manufacturers should seize the eye of viewers in mere seconds. 

“When you have four seconds to catch somebody, it’s got to be visually fresh — you should have music that gets everybody’s attention,” says Acura Brand Officer Jon Ikeda. “If you just break into monologue, it’s very quick that they might turn you off.”

Setbacks through the pandemic

Acura’s media plan contains advert buys with Verizon Media-owned digital manufacturers Yahoo, Tech Crunch and Huffington Post. The marketing campaign may even get a heavy TV push, together with buys throughout National Football League and National Basketball Association programming.

The funding comes as luxurious auto manufacturers search to spur demand after struggling setbacks through the pandemic, which pressured the closure of showrooms and compelled consumers to observe their spending extra fastidiously. 

U.S. luxury vehicle sales fell 35 percent in the second quarter, according to Cox Automotive.  Cox, which consults with greater than 40,000 auto seller shoppers globally, in a current report projected that “the luxury market— particularly the very high end — would be among the last vehicle segments to recover since luxury vehicles are a discretionary purchase and can be delayed. Many are leased, and leases were extended as people couldn’t return to showrooms to select their next vehicle.”

Acura’s U.S. sales fell 19 p.c to 82,713 deliveries by way of August and, inside that complete, sedan gross sales plunged 21 p.c to 21,956 deliveries.

Acura’s strategy has been to keep away from the phrase “luxury”—as a substitute utilizing phrases together with “precision crafted performance.” The verbiage is a part of its try to separate itself from the extra mainstream Honda model, whereas giving it a special spin than different luxurious manufacturers together with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and others. “We are a performance division of Honda … so we need to show more action,” Ikeda says. “We took the luxury word out of everything, because we saw that that the ‘L’ word means so much to so many people that it was confusing how we wanted to portray ourselves.”

The 2021 Acura TLX has a beginning value of $38,525, which is up from the bottom value of $34,025 for the 2020 mannequin, in keeping with Automotive News. TLX gross sales fell 23 p.c to 13,273 deliveries by way of August, Honda stated in its current month-to-month gross sales report.

From sedans to SUVs

The drop comes structural adjustments in the automotive market in which consumers are transferring out of sedans to SUVs and crossovers. The SUV/crossover share of the U.S. auto market has grown from 43 p.c in 2017 to 51 p.c this 12 months, with conventional automobiles now at 24 p.c, in keeping with consultancy AlixPartners. (Trucks and vans account for 25 p.c.) The agency initiatives the share of automobiles to fall to twenty p.c by 2027, with SUVs/crossovers taking 56 p.c.

Acura’s technique is to seize a rising share of the shrinking market by making its automobile design stand out. As the “segment just keeps shrinking, the people that are left—that are buying these sedans—are real sedan fans,” Ikeda says. “So what we as a company have to do best is deliver on that promise on what an enthusiast sedan owner would want.”

That has meant discontinuing its larger RLX sedan, and redesigning the TLX. Says Ikeda: “It’s very unique in size and proportion for how wide it is to how low it is. We are really trying to make it easy for that enthusiast—the people who are left, that really like sedans—to go ‘that one is different, that one is unique.’ We have to make sure that our ads and things promote that.”

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