2015 Acura TLX: the Car, as it’s Marketed (Part 2 of 2)

As I mentioned (more than once) during my glowing review of the new for 2015 Acura TLX sports sedan, the car, itself, is a damn near perfect sport sedan. It’s stiff, it handles well, and it just has a way about it that suggests, ever so gently and soothingly, that you maybe could take this next corner a little faster than you took the last one. As such, I’m convinced that Acura will have no problem selling boatloads of them. That is, if they can get people to drive the car … because, frankly, their marketing sucks.

Worse yet, their marketing sucks, and they have no idea that it sucks.

Case in point: the video, above. This video was shown to a gathering of press the morning we were to drive the new TLX for the first time. For the uninitiated, that song is Sid Vicious (Sex Pistols) singing “My Way”. In its day, the Sex Pistols’ version of My Way (a song written by Paul Anka for Frank Sinatra) was satire and parody of the highest order that utterly challenged what Vicious- and other punk rockers of the day- would probably call “the establishment”. It was a Bansky-esque challenge, and it was a riotous success, rocketing up to no. 7 on the pop charts and establishing punk rock as a more or less legitimate “thing” in the UK.

Acura chose this punk rock anthem of 1978 to herald the coming of its latest, mid-level luxury sports sedan on its own, it seems. On purpose, even. Yet, despite the song’s edgy, punk rock roots and the message and context of the age it was performed in, despite the dozens- if not, hundreds!- of people who would have to OK this idea from its inception to its story-boarding to the pitch meeting to production to editing to distribution- despite all of those seemingly well-intentioned and certainly well-educated people, not one of them, it seems that no one ever asked themselves the following question:


Is there anything LESS punk rock than a mid-level luxury sport sedan?

Don’t get me wrong. I can certainly imagine a pack of middle-aged white guys working as CPAs and attorneys being totally OK with a Sid Vicious/Johnny Rotten driven ad campaign and, maybe, pretending that they can relate to it because they really “shook things up” at the last office meeting by suggesting that Six Sigma might, possibly, be a bit outdated. To the people that Acura really needs to win over- Gen Xers and Millenials who’ve made good- the whole thing is slap in the face. Which is too bad, because the fast, capable Acura TLX deserves a whole lot better.


Op-Ed content from Gas 2, with images provided by Acura.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.