Acura is keeping up with the superhero scene. The automaker, which was in “Thor” last summer, is now the official vehicle of the “The Avengers,” Marvel Entertainment’s new multi-hero movie. Acura is cross-promoting the movie with a national television campaign that starts next week, although the film opens in early May.
The automaker also has a big product integration position in the movie, in which the Acura MDX, ZDX and TL models, new RDX and a convertible sports car created specifically for the film are featured.
Susie Rossick, Acura brand manager, pointed out that the campaign makes sense because it is timed pretty well with the return of the NSX super car, which Acura has been promoting with a campaign starring comedians Jerry Seinfeld and (to a lesser extent) Jay Leno.
At the New York International Auto Show, the company had an up-armored, co-branded MDX on display with a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Product Specialist. Street teams in Avenger-themed garb are scheduled at PAX East, Boston and C2E2, Chicago.
At the movie’s premiere on April 11 at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Acura is planning a stunt, and will have a fleet of its cars and crossovers to ferry the stars to and from the event.
The hub of Acura’s national advertising campaign for the movie involves a digital consumer interaction campaign where people can get themed merchandise by using virtual Acura vehicles in combat simulation environments that correspond with Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and Thor. As users attain a specific rank within the fictional organization, they earn the chance to win movie passes and S.H.I.E.L.D. gear. The grand prize is an all-expense-paid Tony Stark-inspired trip to New York City.
The Web site http://www.SHIELDops.com and the Acura.com Avengers section will also feature Marvel’s The Avengers content, including trailers and movie stills.
The company says its ad push, which is via longtime AOR Santa Monica-based rp&, includes retail tie-ins and national screenings of Marvel’s “The Avengers” with after-parties in select markets and a TV spot, which features the new RDX crossover that navigates through an extremely hazardous action movie landscape of exploding vehicles, alien spaceships, upending asphalt and other goodies.
Acura says video content driving traffic to the co-branded shieldops.com site will also run on entertainment sites like Rotten Tomatoes. The company says that more than 130 Acura dealers will host pre-release screenings of the movie in early May.