RPA Beams Up a Dozen New TV Spots for Honda

Move over Star Trek, Rubin Postaer and Associates is launching new ads for American Honda Motor Co.

The Santa Monica, Calif., agency is unveiling a dozen new spots through mid-Nov ember. Four of them feature a group of carpoolers who are as obsessed with the Honda Accord as Kirk and Spock are about the Enterprise, engaging in manic banter laced with spaceship jargon as they en counter adventures on the road.

RPA also handles media on the estimated $100 million account.

“You don’t want to discourage viewership by telling viewers ‘Here comes a car commercial,’ ” said agency president and CEO Gerry Rubin. “We’re not purposely trying to emulate any show. We’re trying to engage the viewers.”

In “Rescue,” the carpoolers come across a fellow employee stranded on the side of the road. The Accord driver, in his role as the car’s captain, asks his “crew mates” for a report on headroom and “footroom.” Even with four people already in the car, the driver pulls over and picks up the fifth. The point, of course, is that the Accord offers enough room to accommodate all of them.

Rubin said there is another important message. “The Accord campaign is based upon what people do every day, which is carpool,” he said. “We’re not aware of any company doing a campaign that advertises carpooling to its viewers. And that’s one thing Honda holds dear: the environment.”

Spots for the Odyssey launched last week; those for the CRV roll out in November. Most of the 12 spots will have accompanying print executions. The Passport and Prelude models will only get print support. Only the Civic will have outdoor.

Separately, RPA’s Chicago office has won branding, design and advertising duties, including creative, media and interactive, for Decatur, Ill.-based Bachrach Clothing, a men’s clothing retailer. The decision came following a review of Chicago and West Coast shops. Billings are $10-15 million.

Ads due early next year will aim to establish a brand image. Bach rach distributes its wares through a network of stores, a catalog and a Web site, www.bachrach.com.