For the second season in a row, Jerry Seinfeld has taken a stab at writing Acura ads that will appear before and after episodes of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."
This time around, instead of spoofing 1960's car ads, Mr. Seinfeld said he's going after the idea that a car is "going to completely remake your life."
And thus was born Dan Granite, a fictional car salesman who sprinkles practical (if odd) life advice as he touts the Acura TLX to a prospective buyer. "I sell cars, you sell you," he says, obscurely.
According to Mr. Seinfeld, he and Acura have cut 10 separate spots, two for each of this run of episodes.
Acura recently signed on to be the exclusive sponsor of 24 new episodes (seasons six, seven, eight and nine) that will run on Sony Pictures Television's Crackle.com. And it's sponsoring this season and as well as another set to run online in the fall.
"We think we've really stumbled onto something special," said Mike Accavitti, general manager of American Honda's Acura Division.
In fact, the Acura sponsorship is the main reason the show goes on. When asked how much longer the show will continue, Mr. Seinfeld said, "I don't think I'd be doing the show at this point if it weren't for Acura," adding that he feels the company is a good fit.
Unlike other celebrities who've signed on to work with brands, Mr. Seinfeld isn't interested in a marketing title to affix to his name. "I don't like titles. I don't like credits. I just like doing the gig."
While agency Mullen provided support to the effort, Mr. Accavitti said Mr. Seinfeld did "all the heavy lifting" in part to ensure that they were contextually relevant, something that comes into play in the ads and in the product-placement within the episodes.
Contextually relevant, though, doesn't necessarily mean subtle. In a recent episode featuring actress Sarah Jessica Parker, Mr. Seinfeld and his guest are stopped by a police officer outside of a diner.
"Excuse me," he asks. "Is this your product placement?" The camera then cuts to an Acura MDX.
Explained Mr. Seinfeld: "Our product-placement philosophy is to make it as intrusive as possible."
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