See The Spot: Acura's Test Dummies Are Eerily Human

Automaker Shows Commitment to Safety By Making It Personal

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In a new safety-themed commercial, Acura wants to show that crash tests aren't emotionless tasks.

The spot, which begins airing nationally on Sunday, Oct. 18, follows an Acura engineer as he preps for a test by delicately placing four lifelike human dummies -- who are actually actors -- into the MDX crossover.

Then there's the twist.

When the engineer finishes loading them into the vehicle and steps away, it's revealed that he is the one in the driver's seat. The engineer was visualizing himself and his family in place of the crash dummies the entire time.

Acura wanted to take an emotional stance with the spot instead of going with the technical approach normally seen in auto safety ads, said Leila Cesariocq, national advertising manager for Acura. The tagline for the commercial is, "When you don't think of them as dummies, something amazing happens."

Acura's top safety engineers were consulted to ensure the ad accurately represented the test environment.

"Our goal here is to talk about how personal it is," Cesario said in an interview. "It's beyond just passing a test."

The digital component of the campaign, which includes a landing page, launches today. The commercial was cut into 15-, 30- and 60-second spots.

The ad highlights how Acura is the only brand to receive 5-Star vehicle honors in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's New Car Assessment Program and Top Safety Pick+ ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety across its entire model line.

The ad hit home for Acura's engineers. Cesario said the engineers have a scrapbook in which they keep the inspiring notes they receive from customers.

Cesario said, "Before we even shot the ad, just talking about the ad, everyone here was emotional about it because everyone was very quickly able to relate to it."

Vince Bond Jr. is a writer with Automotive News

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