Generation Why: The Acura ILX And The Aspirational Advertisement

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

The ad, like all ads today, is aspirational, not reflective. It is showing you something you want to be, not “a person like you would like these products.”

The rest of the article talks about a sort of “aspirational fantasy” (my term, not theirs). JC Penny is trying to do it in their ad (discussed in the article) and Acura is trying to do it here. The problem is they haven’t quite got it.

The ad shows the middle age female fantasy of home: family, kids, but still retaining decor, cleanliness, fun. Beautiful furniture, nice clothes, well groomed, stable relationship, everyone’s together.

The under-35 male Generation Why fantasy isn’t too far off. Decor, fun, beautiful furniture, nice clothes, well-groomed, everyone’s together. Don’t believe me? Look where the ads are set. A hip hotel/hangout spot and a trendy lounge. The guys are cool, handsome in an without looking like they should star in a fragrance ad, wearing clothes that are stylish and fashion forward without their look coming off as contrived and repugnant. Think GQ fashion spread versus “ Hypebeast“.

I understand that they’re trying to show the duality of work and play for a modern young male consumer, but that cliche is as tired as putting “I like to work hard and play hard” in your online dating profile. We still don’t know anything about the car, just what kind of person drives the car. That works when your brand is as strong as BMW or Audi. When you’re Acura, you still have to let everyone know why your car is better than everyone else’s. From watching this ad, I don’t really know anything about the ILX, that it can be had as a hybrid, that it’s a decent value, that it has any kind of performance or luxury credentials. Which is somewhat representative of Acura as a whole, when you think about it.

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  • Amac Amac on Jun 06, 2012

    Derek, the first rule of advertising: sell the sizzle, not the steak. You need to speak to people's hearts, not their heads. Features are for brochures.

  • CRConrad CRConrad on Jun 09, 2012

    Oh, so it's an "ACK-ura"? Live and learn... I'd always imagined the brand was "a-CURE-a". (Never heard it spoken before.)

  • JMII Its an SUV so I am shocked they don't already offer it.
  • Analoggrotto As we Tesla owners receive our life energy from the greatest son of the gods of all time, Elon Musk; His cherubs and His nephilim may remove whatever they wish from us for unto him we owe all for our superiority above all the rest of humanity.
  • Kcflyer Nice to see California giving NY some competition to be the worst run state in the union.
  • Wolfwagen I see my comment was deleted (BTW nice way to censor) so i will say it again:GTFO here with the pseudo "wealth distribution" BS. A crime is a crime is a crime.Its a slippery slope, what happens next, Jail a rich guy when he kills a pedestrian and let the poor guy who kills a pedestrian walk? What about if the poor guy is a crappy driver and has the record to prove it then what?Or we could go crazy and just institute the death penalty across the board for every driving infraction. That will make people better drivers or stop driving altogether which will make the greenies happy (damm it I just gave them an idea - SOB!!!)
  • Wolfwagen No. Bring back the J80 with an inline six and reduced electronics (i.e. no giant touch screen) and they will probably sell like hotcakes