Watch some classic Acura sports cars get abused for a mediocre ad

For its last several generation cycles, Acura has been trying to find a brand identity. The cancellation of the Integra/RSX, the long hiatus of the NSX, and the adoption of various corporate grilles haven’t done it any favors. More recently, though, Acura’s been trying to integrate (ha!) some classic sports cars into its advertising in the hopes of rekindling that enthusiast flame.

The latest attempt is a new commercial titled “Two Words,” in which Acura drivers, engineers, and racers egg each other on with a catchphrase comprised of — you guessed it — two words. Apparently, it’s mean to show how dedication to competition and achievement is infused throughout the company, etc. Incidentally, the catchphrase is “Beat that,” which is, as catchphrases go, more beer commercial than luxury car advert.

Anyway, the spot opens with a stock Integra Type R and an original NSX frolicking in the streets. In theory, this is good. As performance machines of the highest caliber, these cars were meant to frolic. But come on, J-turns and e-brake slides? Those are direct-to-video Hollywood ideas of what performance driving is. They are not cool to anyone over the age of 15, and as Jim Rockford proved, do not require an 8,400 rpm redline or a pioneering variable valve timing system to do.

These days, a low-mileage Acura Integra Type R is an $82,000 car and all remaining stock ones are on Bring A Trailer. So where did Acura get such a fine, stock-looking Championship White example to hoon? Hopefully not from the American Honda Collection. Film sets are notoriously bad for damaging cars even when they’re sitting still. It’s not that we’re opposed to seeing an ITR being given the full beans, either. Take it to Tsukuba Circuit or show it giving a far more legendary car the night sweats, but don’t subject it to this high school parking lot stunt show.

Also, Acura, hope you didn’t get pulled over on the way home from the shoot; the left rear brake light on the NSX is out.

We appreciate that Acura is building their identity on the cars that made them great. But please do it in a manner that doesn’t insult the audience, like the 2018 spot titled “Launch,” which attempts to draw a line from the NSX and ITR to the RDX. The ad is offensive on multiple levels, including the use of the terrible Motorhead cover of “Sympathy for the Devil” and the idea that there isn’t a Grand Canyon-sized chasm lying between Acura’s Bubble Era icons and a modern crossover.

Obviously, we at JNC are huge advocates of incorporating heritage into any public-facing message a carmaker wants to deliver. It’s just that there’s a wrong way to do it and — see below — a right way to do it,



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9 Responses to Watch some classic Acura sports cars get abused for a mediocre ad

  1. Jeff says:

    Don’t they mean “Beak That”?

  2. Monte says:

    Sad that they’re attempting to trade on old, old virtues. When their achievements were punctuated with great cars, it was a virtuous circle that fed their credibility.
    Now it’s just a touch…pathetic.

  3. starbai says:

    Man here I am just excited to see Acura realizing what made them great to begin with. I see the gorgeous vehicles of the past and I see hope for the future with a bright Yellow NSX and that gorgeous TLX concept.

    I read this post and I’m slapped in the face with a sack of negativity…

    I for one kind of enjoyed the childish street stunts and the vintage 90s appeals. I’d only have liked it more if there was a 6spd Legend GS in there some where.

    I think the point of doing all this childish stuff is that the people that’d be interested in buying these things now, WERE children when these original ones came out. I mean at least I was.. I was 12 for the first year of production of the Type R in the US. I drooled and lusted… and today at 34… well I see it and wish I could have one and still do stupid shit like that. So the ad appealed to me.

    Granted Acura doesn’t have the balls to make a vehicle as great as the Integra Type R ever again, but if that 2nd gen TLX is even remotely close to the concept I’ve got my wallet ready.

  4. Long Beach Mike says:

    I disagree. The percussion on that Motorhead cover is pretty sweet. Otherwise you guys are dead on with your comments. Acura looks like a desperate middle child doing dumb show-off stuff in an attempt to gain approval when all that is needed is good behavior.

  5. J says:

    The taillight wasn’t our but the blinker to move to the right lane was on 🙂

  6. Jay Ded says:

    Personally, I didn’t think it was that bad for a car ad made in the neutered, #metoo era…by Acura. As far as lame goes; I was expecting worse.

    Like most ads lately it’s just a bit lazy without a clear vision. Not to mention, tired because Honda/Acura has been using its “greatest hits” as a crutch for so long. Unfortunately, we live in a time where a mere degree certifies one’s “brilliance” and no one really considers advertising to be an art anymore…Meanwhile, true talent is harder to spot/quantify.

    Therefore, this is about as “edgy” and “cutting-edge” as its likely going to get until there’s some new dollar shave club ads everyone can knockoff into perpetuity.

    The second ad used a cover of The Rolling Stones. Cardinal sin. Enough said.

    The last commercial lost me at handlebar mustache. Amnesia hit with the hot air balloon.

  7. Spirit Road says:

    Pretty cool ads/videos! Makes me reminisce of days past…

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