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By Published on .

Acura this week launches the first TV campaign from new agency Suissa Miller. But the work is only an interim effort till the "real" campaign starts in April.

The Los Angeles agency replaced Fathom on the $100 million account for American Honda Motor Co.'s luxury division on Jan. 1. So that Acura could get a campaign on the air, Suissa Miller re-edited footage from Fathom's archives and added a new soundtrack.

The temporary ads feature big-band music, with Lena Horne singing in one spot.


Suissa Miller's all-new creative starts in April, but the interim ads show the direction Acura and the agency intend to use.

Acura's brand image has been fuzzy, with no real identifying tagline. The previous closer, "Some things are worth the price," was abandoned shortly after the 1995 launch.

Acura's new image will leap back to the marque's early line of "Precision crafted performance." The image will dwell on "personal, sophisticated, sporty performance," said Rich Thomas, Acura's general manager.

"We're taking the direction toward aggressive performance, as opposed to pure luxury," Mr. Thomas said. "It's what people know, can believe and what we can deliver."


Suissa Miller faces a challenge of building an image for a division that has little new to sell: Acura introduced five new models in the last 18 months. But Acura this fall will have one new car, a redesigned version of its entry-level Integra.

Many Acura dealers pressed for an agency change, and reaction to the new agency's work was positive in a preview to dealers last week at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention.

"I'm a [remote-control] clicker. I wouldn't click past these ads. It showed the car in a good, positive light. You want to drive the car," said Glenn Bockwinkel, general sales manager at a Libertyville, Ill., dealership.

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