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How to win a $200 million car account: Secrets of Mullen scoop


By Noel Young, Correspondent

March 25, 2013 | 2 min read

The secrets of Boston agency Mullen's block-busting win of the $200 million account for American Honda's luxury Acura car, beating out incumbent RPA, has been revealed.

Acura: More emotion wanted

They promised to focus Acura's message and inject more emotion into its ads.

Mullen offered "wicked-awesome creative" and a sharp focus on what's been missing from Acura's marketing, American Honda Chief Marketing Officer Mike Accavitti told Automotive News.

The agency produced an astonishing 26 videos -- a mix of ad concepts, "brand essence" videos, campaign outlines and overviews.

One was a manifesto called "It's Time to Stop Wandering," a reference to Acura's marketing inconsistency since its 1986 launch, said Automotive News.

Mullen also produced a blockbuster 4-by-8-foot diorama of a proposed commercial shoot.

It had moving parts that included an automated point-of-view camera that moved among the cars to show how a commercial would be shot.

The three-month agency review had started with 20 agencies. RPA held onto the main Honda account.

Accavitti said, "We got good stuff from RPA.I am proud of the [Matthew Broderick] Super Bowl campaign we did. If we could make everything that impactful and awesome and cool, that would be great. But we weren't getting that."

Accavitti said the Acura work by Mullen filled "the emotional component" that had been missing.

"We have these great, luxurious products, but there's a gap between the customer perception of what Acura is, and the luxury that is in our cars," he said.


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