BootLeg Betty

Midler And Ramsey Spots Fail To Elevate The Brand

Celebrity Pitch
Acura Needs Other Holiday Plans Beyond Bette Midler and Gordon Ramsay
November 17, 2011

Acura released two new ads this week for their “Acura Season of Reason Sales Event.” Both spots feature Celebrity Endorsements – one with songstress Bette Midler and the other with chef Gordon Ramsay. While the spots are good for their 15 second entertainment value, they do not do much in helping build the Acura brand or even real awareness around the sale that’s going on.

Acura relies too heavily on the humor of the situation that has nothing to do with the sale. What’s more, Acura uses the Celebrity Endorsements to get awareness, but there is no positive alignment or brand association between the celebrities and Acura.

Brands need to use athletes, actors, musicians and chefs to elevate their brand and communicated messaging. That’s not saying that the use of humor is to be lost in endorsements, but that if humor is used it needs to be much more pointed and strategic to their over-all goals. Toyota recently did a nice job at this with their spot featuring Kelly Clarkson, Chris Berman, James Lipton and Andrew Zimmern (Read Celebrity Pitch’s Review).

I expected more from a major auto maker – these are good SNL clips, not commercials. Skip the “Acura Season of Reason Sales Event” – whatever that is.

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5 thoughts on “Midler And Ramsey Spots Fail To Elevate The Brand

  1. I hate to speak sacrilege, but I agree with the article. The first time I saw the ad I didn’t understand what the message was. Now that I’ve seen it a few times, I still don’t understand what the message is. Even for Bette, she could have at least sung on-key, which made the ad even more disconcerting. It’s more of a “huh” than a “WTF?” moment, but I also can’t equate the ad with Acura. My thought was, if you’re going to upstage a group of carolers (who don’t look like carolers at all), at least do it well. I’m sooo sorry on this one, but I just don’t get it. Nice to see Bette come out and do a commercial, but this isn’t one for the history books.

    1. Well, I’ll go ahead and put MY head on the chopping block and say I never understood the commercial. I just attributed it to the fact that I was paying too much attention to Bette. After reading what the commercial was supposed to be about and all that, I still didn’t get it. Of course this is not Bette’s fault. I still enjoy seeing her, hearing her, and think she looks damn good….I just wouldn’t know what she was selling, but that’s the writers’ fault and maybe my thick head….

    2. All i know is that i was just glad to see her and if i’m going to be stuck watching NFL games at least I have something to look forward to….

  2. Maybe it’s time for me to buy a car. I “got” the commercial and, as an actor, understood the choices she made in it. I thought it was funny, I thought the carolers were funny and I especially appreciated the rimshot “I think that went very well ” line when it was clear that it didn’t. Irony is a tricky bitch, especially when the whole world expects a f*cking emoticon when it is used.

    Having said that, if we are so much as having this conversation, the makers of this commercial didn’t make the point. A commercial should express its intent to the widest market available in the easiest manner, and apparently this did not. If you only have 30 seconds to make a point, you have to get down to it with as few bells and whistles as possible, and the text of this commercial is driven by bells and whistles almost entirely, so…

    Having said all of that, I’m always just happy to see Bette being Bette. Her choices are not always correct or perfect, but no artist’s work has ever made me happier. Period.

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