Rubin Postaer Breaks From Tradition, Promotes Honda Accord as a Value Buy

LOS ANGELES – Rubin Postaer & Associates pulls out some fancy driving moves this week, introducing the 1994 Accord from American Honda Motor Co. with an estimated $24 million in spending between now and December.
Abandoning past campaigns’ smugness, the shop broke tradition and launched the campaign with a value-for-the-money mantra that focuses on its price – unchanged despite the increases in the Japanese yen. Subsequent spots will try to fight off Honda’s reputation for middling style and attract a younger audience without distancing its traditional consumer.
Rubin Postaer co-principal and creative director Larry Postaer called the introduction the biggest launch ever for Accord. There will be seven commercials in the first wave, including spots carrying ecological and ‘Made in America’ themes, and another portraying the new model as fun to drive.
The commercial that leads off the first flight features an old Accord driving off a showroom floor with a new model pulling in behind it. The sticker peels off the first car and gently affixes itself to the second, ‘the only thing that hasn’t changed’ about the 1994 vehicle.
Postaer called the spot ‘as graceful a way to say ‘we are value’ as we could think of.’
Dealers who previewed the work in Las Vegas late last week were thrilled. ‘It’s tremendous,’ said Ron Jackson, president of the Southern California Honda Dealers Association. ‘These are ads the factory has never taken before – they’re going to be showing prices . . . in a national ad campaign.’
The 1994-model Accord, on which Honda officials have bluntly said rests the future of the car company, rolls out into an entirely different market from the one it owned through the 1980s. With Ford’s Taurus now holding the U.S. best-seller title, and nearly every other automaker offering competitive models, the Accord’s success may rest heavily on the ad campaign.
This year, for the first time in seven years, the Accord will launch with a tagline – ‘A Car Ahead.’
‘We felt we needed a rallying cry to show a new era for Honda,’ Postaer said.
The spots ‘are more youthful, which is important because Honda has been skewing over,’ Postaer said. ‘We want to pick up a decade that’s been moving away.’
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)