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 provide 15 seconds of entertainment value, they do not do much to build the Acura brand or to foster awareness of the sales event.
Acura relies too heavily on the humor of the situation, rather than the sale. And while Acura uses the Celebrity Endorsements to generate awareness, there is no positive alignment or brand association between the celebrities and Acura.
Brands need to use athletes, actors, musicians and chefs for both elevation and to communicate messaging. Humor can have a place in endorsements, but the humor needs to be much more pointed and strategic to the brand's goals. Toyota recently did a nice job of 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 new spots are good SNL clips, not commercials. Skip the "Acura Season of Reason Sales Event" – whatever that is.