Watch Acura’s Big Game commercial above, featuring a Van Halen classic!
Now Updated with the Extended & Short versions, below. There’s a total of three commercials.
Acura Rolls Out American-made NSX Supercar with Super Bowl Commercial Set to Van Halen Classic, Runnin’ with the Devil
Acura has made three commercials featuring the NSX set to the wailing yells of Van Halen’s David Lee Roth and the timeless ‘Runnin’ with the Devil.” The 30-second commercial will run during the first quarter of the Super Bowl. The other two (Extended 60-second and 16-second) have been released online today. Watch all three here.
Super Bowl 50 is just over a week away, but carmakers are already rolling out their big ads. Acura’s newly released commercial uses the screams and moans from Van Halen’s David Lee Roth and the song Runnin’ with the Devil to build excitement about the upcoming supercar.
As Van Halen plays, the NSX evolves from a slab of metal into the turbocharged, hybrid coupe. In a patriotic touch, the commercial uses red, white, and blue to subtly communicate the supercar’s US development and production. It’s a clever ad, sure, but we wish it showed more of the new NSX’s high-performance capability. There’s never a bad time to listen to some Van Halen, though.
The video above is the 30-second Super Bowl commercial, which airs during the first quarter. However, the clip below is a one-minute version that lets the visuals breathe more. The longer cut is the better one, but Acura’s choice is understandable given the expense of Super Bowl ad time.
Sometimes it takes a voice like David Lee Roth’s to snare consumer attention on Super Bowl Sunday.
Acura will take to the advertising playing field of Super Bowl 50 with an ad that will use some of the iconic elements of the Van Halen song “Runnin’ With the Devil,” namely some of Roth’s signature musical utterances and guitarist Eddie Van Halen’s trademark licks. The spot will air in the first quarter of the game, slated to be broadcast on CBS on February 7, and tout the automaker’s NSX, according to Leila Cesario, national advertising manager for the Acura unit of American Honda.
The New York Times reports:
Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” served as the perfect soundtrack for Budweiser’s heartwarming 2013 ad where a Clydesdale reunited with its former trainer. The composer John Williams’ “Imperial March” from “Star Wars” added just the right touch to Volkswagen’s humorous 2011 spot about a junior Darth Vader trying to use “the Force.”
On the other hand, Nissan’s selection of Harry Chapin’s melancholy “Cat’s in the Cradle” last year felt too dour for many viewers.
When it comes to Super Bowl ads, the use of well-known songs can be a high-risk, high-reward proposition, said Tristan Clopet, creative director of the Sussex Music House in Brooklyn. Done right, music can be a highly effective branding tool. Done wrong, viewers remember not the product, but the song (and not always fondly).
This year, the luxury carmaker Acura is gambling that its use of Van Halen’s hard-driving rock n’ roll classic “Runnin’ With the Devil” will make its 30-second spot for the 2017 NSX high-end sports car stand out during CBS’ broadcast of Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7.
Acura and MullenLowe considered a variety of songs from different genres before settling on Van Halen.
“Ultimately we knew that we wanted this to be a rock song,” said Leila Cesario, the national advertising manager for American Honda’s Acura division. “The Super Bowl is a big American platform. It needed a big American band that screams excitement.”
This will be Acura’s first Super Bowl spot since 2012, when the comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno dueled over the first NSX to come off the production line. MullenLowe deliberately shot NSX in shades of red, white and blue to highlight that the two-seater is designed and built in the United States.
Van Halen won’t be the only rock and rollers on Super Bowl Sunday. Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, for example, will star in a spot for Skittles candy. Pepsi is also planning a commercial featuring well-known songs.
Choosing the right music for an ad is not simple. Many marketers hire advisers like Tena Clark, founder of DMI Music & Media Solutions in Los Angeles, to pick songs that they think will resonate.
“It’s a perfect storm in the wind when you’ve really done your homework — and that piece of music matches with the story line and the visuals you’ve shot,” said Ms. Clark.
Agencies license songs a variety of ways. The most expensive is to license an original version, like Acura did. An alternative is to use cover versions. The cheapest way is to use the music of relatively obscure artists.
Licensing a classic song by a popular band like Van Halen or Aerosmith can cost six figures for one-time use during the Super Bowl, said Josh Rabinowitz, director of music for the Grey Group in New York. (Acura did not say how much it paid.) If the agency wants to use the song for a monthslong campaign, the cost could run into the millions, he said. Savvy music labels also raise the price when they know an agency badly wants a certain song for a Super Bowl spot.
The good news for advertisers? With major changes in the economics of the music industry, more artists are willing to work with Madison Avenue than ever before.
Long after bands’ records stop selling, or the musicians stop touring, “advertising is the gift that keeps giving,” Mr. Rabinowitz said.
Acura NSX Super Bowl 2016 Commercial Teaser – It’s Good to Be Back:
Acura NSX – What He Said – Extended Version (Extended 60-second version):
Note that this isn’t the first time that a Van Halen songs has been featured in the Super Bowl. Last year, their version of “(Oh) Pretty Woman”