Who's got a convenient vomit receptacle? Best grab one, friends, because we're going to be looking at Acura's new ad campaign, and it's so laden with self-righteous and confused, first-year-art-school pretention that a nice vigorous upchucking is the only response.
The whole new campaign hinges on the tagline Made for Mankind. This is an interesting choice for a carmaker's marketing message because it's absolutely the one thing you can definitively say about every car ever made in the history of Earth.
Just like the Acura, every car ever produced has the unique honor of being fucking made for fucking mankind. Unless there's a rare DAF targeted at the large otter population of the Netherlands, I think we can safely assume that Acura's new catchphrase, the one designed to uniquely extoll the virtues of their motor-carriages, is generic to the point of absurdity.
I get that they're trying for a greater, more uplifting meaning in Made for Mankind, though as to exactly what they mean by that I'm not sure.
Their recent commercials have fallen deeply into the student-film forced gravity trap, full of artistic looking images that are supposed to suggest rich, meaningful concepts, but in reality are '80s Omni magazine cover-grade pseudo-philosophical horseshit. With a really spare set of piano notes meaningfully plinking in the background.
There's cascading rocks and babies thoughtfully sifting black sand and astronauts and robot arms and peoples' heads connected by wires and leaden, pregnant skies and so much other color desaturated imagery we've seen a thousand times before, images trotted out to distract thinking people from the terrifying reality that an organization no longer knows who they are.
Depressingly, AdWeek fellates these ads with gleeful vigor, saying they "celebrate a brand in harmony with humanity." I defy anyone to tell me exactly what the hell that means. The AdWeek article also goes on to describe
Acura's internal product development mantra of "managing synergies."
... which sounds like a line 30 Rock writers would have given to Jack Donaghe. "Managing synergies?" Almost all of Acura's current problems could point to inanities like that as their root cause.
They're not even the first carmaker — or even the first Japanese luxury carmaker — to fall into this seductively snooty trap. Remember these 1990s Infiniti ads?
Of those, Infiniti eventually admitted
We spent too much time advertising rocks and trees.
I don't have anything against Acura technically — they're upmarket Hondas, and Honda is certainly no technical slouch by any stretch. They've made some questionable stylistic choices over the past decade, relying on those ponderous chrome hawk beaks on their grilles and more recently going a little crazy with cramming tiny lights and lenses in their headlight units, but on the whole their cars aren't bad.
They don't have much of an identity, really. I can't remember the last time I was really interested in an Acura outside of being repeatedly disappointed by the perpetual delays of a new NSX.
But these ads. These self-important, dipshits of commercials, these aren't what Acura needs. These ads are condescending in a cloyingly high-brow way, and all the babies sifting black sand aren't going to make anyone give a shit about another dull luxury SUV.
Come on, Acura. Grow up.