Acura Plucks Van Halen To Strike A Chord At Super Bowl 50

Sometimes it takes a voice like David Lee Roth’s to snare consumer attention on Super Bowl Sunday.

Acura will take to the advertising playing field of Super Bowl 50 with an ad that will use some of the iconic elements of the Van Halen song “Running with the Devil,” namely  some of Roth’s signature musical utterances and guitarist Eddie Van Halen’s trademark licks. The spot will air in the first quarter of the game, slated to be broadcast on CBS on February 7, and tout the automaker’s NSX, according to Leila Cesario, national advertising manager for the Acura unit of American Honda.

“What we are doing is taking our American super car on to the big American stage,” she said in an interview, making a reference to the industry’ s term for a high-performance sports vehicle.  The NSX, which last appeared in the Super Bowl in a 2012 spot featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno,” costs more than $150,000.

Acura isn’t the first Super Bowl bound carmaker to tap a loud popular song in hopes of making some noise during an event that is chockablock with celebrites, oddball moments and surprises. Kia tapped Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart” to advertiser its Optima in 2012’s Super Bowl XLVI. In 2011, Chrysler used Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” to great effect in a stirring commercial meant to inspire as the nation worked its way out of a recession.

The Acura commercial, crafted by the Los Angeles office of Interpublic Group agency MullenLowe, marks the first time Van Halen has allowed that particular tune to be used for licensing purposes, said Cesario.

The company knew it wanted a loud rock song to help tout the car and to get attention, she said. Eddie Van Halen and his brother Alex, who plays drums in the band, were amenable to the song being used, said Cesario.

The company won’t stop at the TV set. As part of the social media outreach surrouindg the commercial, viewers will be able to enter a sweepstakes t win an NSX driving experience if they generate tweets that contain a link to the 30-second Super Bowl ad. On February 25, Acura will launch a “NSX online vehicle configurator” that lets fans and potential customers design their own NSX.

 

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