Celebrities Take the Wheel as Acura's 'Season of Reason' Campaign Returns Starring Gordon Ramsay and Bette Midler

November 14, 2011


Santa Monica, Calif. November 14, 2011 — Acura's "Season of Reason" campaign returns for the third year featuring superstars Bette Midler and Gordon Ramsay. Developed by Acura's agency of record, rp&, a division of RPA, the sales event campaign emphasizes the value of Acura for affluent but recession-fatigued shoppers.

"The 'Season of Reason' has become a humorous, annual reminder of Acura being a smart choice for customers seeking innovation and luxury," said Susie Rossick, brand manager of Acura National Advertising. "Our goal is to stand out in the pack of end-of-the-year automotive advertising by being clever and wry, and these spots portraying holiday zealots overspending to hire personal celebrities is a funny twist on our successful past holiday campaigns."

The spots, shot by The Perlorian Brothers, open with a holidaymaker making the well-intentioned announcement that they had hired celebrity talent to make for an extra-special holiday. In the spot starring actress Bette Midler, a local caroler brings her on to make his singing troupe the best on the block only to have the ostentatiously dressed Midler commandeer the group and deliver an outlandish performance. In the spot featuring Gordon Ramsay, a woman brings the celebrity chef into her home to prepare a special holiday dinner only to find her buttoned-up family sitting in awkward silence as Ramsay chews out and fires his staff. "At a time when it's easy to go overboard, Acura invites you to be smarter and over-save during the Season of Reason sales event," a narrator offers at the end of each spot.

"Our main message to those fed up with the overindulgence of the holidays is that Acura is a sensible choice," said John Guynn, ACD/copywriter at rp&.

The creative team worked closely with the celebrity talent to ensure a flawless final cut. Highlights included Midler spontaneously creating her song in the studio and working with the off-set, affable version of Gordon Ramsay.

The TV campaign will launch on high-profile programming, including the NFL on CBS. Online banner ads will complement these featured spots, appearing on 18 top auto shopping sites, including KBB.com, Edmunds.com and Cars.com. The campaign will also include print, POP and radio ads.

Acura "Season of Reason" Holiday Sales Event 2011 Creative Credits

Agency: rp& Exec. Creative Director: John Hage Director of Art: Phillip Squier ACD/Art Director: Eric Goldstein ACD/Copywriter: John Guynn Art Director: Puja Shah Executive Producer: Jack Epsteen Senior Producer: Carolyn Casey

Production Co: Furlined Executive Producer: David Thorne Line Producer: Josh Porter Directors: The Pelorian Brothers DPs: Bryan Newman/Curtis Clark

Editorial: Arcade Edit Editor: Stewart Reeves Post Producer: Ali Reed Managing Partner (Arcade): Damian Stevens

Music Company: Elias Arts ECD: Jonathan Elias Music Creative Director: David Gold Composer: Christopher Kemp Exec Producer: Ann Haugen

Post House: Airship VFX artist: Matthew Lydecker Post Producer: Lisa English

Audio Post: Juice West Engineer: Bob Gremore

Telecine Company: MPC Colorist: Mark Gethin

About rp& rp& is a full-service marketing communications division of RPA, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif. Established in 2008, rp& has been responsible for the development of all Acura National, Regional, Online, Direct Mail and Event Marketing communications. For more information, visit http://www.rpa.com.