Friday, May 14, 2010

JWT AnxietyIndex: Acura rationalizes luxury with ‘Excuses’ campaign

We’ve noted how drastically the luxury category changed with the recession. Ostentation is out, practicality is in. And while recent research from Harrison Group found that affluent consumers are less likely to feel guilty about buying luxury goods today than they did a year ago, that doesn’t mean a return to the days of freewheeling spending.

Luxury automaker Acura does an excellent job tapping into today’s practicality ethos with a campaign promoting its spring sales event, dubbed “Driven by Reason.” Six spots feature affluent shoppers making bogus justifications for eccentric luxury purchases. In one spot, a man confidently describes the virtues of his Damascus steel watch—which features a “perpetual calendar with leap year” and over 680 handmade moving parts—and in another ad, the proud owner of a tube amp owner throws around phrases such as “crossover croaxial” but shruggingly admits he doesn’t know much about how it works.

These characters may be wealthy, but they are fools. A voiceover at the end of each spot explains, “There are excuses for spending money on luxury, and then there are reasons,” giving the target consumer permission to find sound justification for buying a new Acura. The spots are funny and should resonate with affluent shoppers, who are increasingly rethinking their frugal habits post-recession. Please click here to view video: JWT AnxietyIndex: Brand Answers for an Anxious World

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