Even if dealers got confused about Acura's "Advance" theme and tag line for national advertising, Honda’s executives have decided to stick with it.
In an interview, Steve Center, chief marketing officer for American Honda, said that “Advance," which debuted in 2007, could stay "for 10 or 20 years." After several retailers raised doubts about the effectiveness of its brand message, Acura recently made modifications.
Center said that when people are asked to describe Acura, the answers are very varied. He believes that Acura is in “the right place” even when there was plenty of confusion from the brand message.
Center said that Acura will be working on the message behind "Advance" so that it is easier to understand, but he said that the idea is the same: leadership in technical innovation, including performance and safety.
Center said that “Advance” is not a two- or three-year identification but rather it is “something durable." Center asserts that he wants "Advance" to be for Acura what "The Ultimate Driving Machine" was for BMW. He admits that some tinkering is in store.
He believes that part of the confusion among dealers was that internally, Acura described its positioning as "smart luxury” but its ads never mentioned the phrase.
The newest "Advance" commercial shows an Acura TSX sedan being transformed into the TSX Sport Wagon while in slow-motion drift through a corner. Seemingly to show that the wagon still has its sport sedan roots, the sedan's sheet metal is stripped away from the car and replaced with wagon construction. [via autonews - sub. required]