RPA Promotes Jason Sperling to Executive Creative Director
May 1, 2013
Santa Monica, Calif., May 1, 2013 – RPA, a leading advertising agency headquartered in Los Angeles, announces the promotion of Jason Sperling, previously SVP, Group Creative Director, to the position of SVP, Executive Creative Director, reporting to Joe Baratelli, EVP, Chief Creative Officer.
Sperling has brought in and fostered creative talent at all levels, while guiding the Honda brand image to new heights and recognition. Most recently, he played a crucial role in helping RPA retain the Honda business against some of the most competitive shops in the country.
“Jason, in his relatively short time, has become a true champion of RPA and its culture. Yet he’s always looking to improve the agency as we move into the future. This elevated title fully recognizes Jason’s countless contributions to RPA’s creative reputation and culture,” said Baratelli.
While at RPA, Sperling helmed Honda’s “Matthew’s Day Off” Super Bowl spot, part of the larger CR-V Leap List campaign. It was recently chosen by Entertainment Weekly as one of the Top 10 Super Bowl commercials of all-time.
Sperling has been busy piloting memorable work for Honda. Most recently he led the “Things Can Always Be Better” Civic campaign and the Honda Accord “It Starts With You” campaign. He’s also been at the center of Honda’s digital efforts, spearheading the award-winning “Honda Loves You Back,” Monsters Calling Home and “Million Mile Joe” work, as well as the IAB MIXX Awards gold-winning “Pintermission” digital campaign for Best Experimental and Innovative Campaign. In addition, the Communication Arts Interactive Annual called Honda’s “Good Reasons” retail campaign, “One of the best integrated advertising/marketing campaigns I’ve seen.”
Sperling has been with RPA since 2010, joining from Media Arts Lab where he was the driving force behind the worldwide “Get a Mac” Apple campaign. Before coming to RPA, Sperling was honored with top industry awards, including a Cannes Gold Lion, the Cannes Gold Cyber Lion, several One Show Gold Pencils and Clio Gold awards, and the Yahoo! Purple Chair Award. Recently, his grad school alma mater, the Academy of Art, awarded him its first-ever Distinguished Alumni Award.
Honda Launches Annual Happy Honda Days Campaign, 'More Happiness with Every Honda'
November 19, 2012
Santa Monica, Calif., Nov. 19, 2012 – The latest rendition of the “Happy Honda Days” holiday campaign begins today and features various amusing thank-you letters to Honda dealers from “Happy Honda Days” shoppers and their loved ones. These personalized stories of happiness come with every Honda.
Developed by Honda’s long-standing agency of record, RPA, six comical TV spots showcase the Honda product line and various standard features such as rearview camera, Pandora® internet radio or Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®.
“It’s critical for our holiday campaign to break through the clutter during this time period, and we're confident that these lighthearted spots will stand out,” said Susie Rossick, senior manager, regional marketing, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Because this is the ninth chapter of ‘Happy Honda Days,’ the phrase has become shorthand for dealers who rally around the concept each year and consumers who instantly recognize the name from a trusted brand and know it’s a great time to buy.”
Each spot opens on someone thanking Honda for giving their friend or relative a great deal on a new car. The narrator gives a detailed account of why the car is such a great purchase. Precocious Samantha loves getting rides in her big sister Laura’s new Civic while rocking out to her USB-connected iPod®. Doting Nancy loves her son Steve’s new Pilot with its Bluetooth and rearview camera. Spikey-haired tween Pete is grateful for his Dad’s Accord; its low cost equals more presents, and Pandora distracts Dad from his son’s paintball escapades.
“During the holiday season, it can be a little tougher to get potential car buyers’ attention, and ‘Happy Honda Days’ pulls consumers in with a brighter, more fun approach than the screaming ‘buy it or die’ messaging so prevalent elsewhere,” said RPA ACD Sarah May Bates. “These are humorous and relatable stories filled with colorful characters—mischievous kids, moocher roommates and hard-to-read fathers-in-law—that will hopefully be more entertaining for car shoppers this holiday season.”
Spots will air on high-profile network programs such as “Modern Family,” “The Good Wife,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “The Office,” “X-Factor,” and on ESPN, TNT and TLC.
Creative will also be integrated on display ads running on car-shopping sites, network radio, two Spanish-language TV spots and print ads in national publications, including “Entertainment Weekly,” “People,” “Sports Illustrated,” “TIME,” “Us Weekly,” “USA Today” and “Wall Street Journal.” Dealers have access to customizable TV, print, radio, banners and social media assets. The campaign runs through January 2.
RPA, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., is a leading independent advertising agency. RPA builds momentum for brands by offering its clients truly integrated campaigns that resonate throughout its disciplines, which include traditional advertising, interactive, and direct and event marketing. RPA’s client list includes American Honda, both the Honda and Acura brands, ampm, ARCO, Castrol, California Department of Public Health, Intuit Small Business, La-Z-Boy, Farmers Insurance Group and Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. For more information, visit http://www.rpa.com.
Honda offers a complete lineup of Honda cars, trucks and service through a network of 1,037 Honda dealerships within the United States. In 2012, Honda will mark 30 years of producing automobiles in the region1, which began with the Accord in Marysville, Ohio in November 1982. Having produced over 23 million vehicles in North America, Honda currently operates 7 major automobile manufacturing facilities in the region.
Connect with Honda:
Media Newsroom (for journalists): www.hondanews.com
For consumers: http://automobiles.honda.com
Honda products are produced using domestic and globally sourced parts.
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RPA Appoints First Brand Experience Director
November 7, 2012
Santa Monica, Calif., November 7, 2012 – RPA, the largest advertising agency headquartered in Los Angeles, and the third-largest independent agency in the country, welcomes Albert Ocampo as RPA’s first-ever Brand Experience Director, reporting to Joe Baratelli, EVP, Chief Creative Officer.
Most recently, Ocampo directed the multi-platform design for the Cannes Lion, One Show, Clio and MIXX award-winning “Small Business Saturday” campaign by American Express. In addition to American Express, Ocampo has guided integrated brand experiences for Royal Caribbean, Microsoft, Trident, Mitsubishi and Toyota.
“Albert’s fine-tuned ability to create engaging and effective experiences across a wide spectrum of platforms will allow us to further broaden our ability to offer a 360-degree, fully integrated approach that creates interest, participation and conversation,” said Baratelli.
Ocampo’s role and ongoing assignment will be to guide and shape a more cohesive brand presence for the Honda automotive brand across all consumer touch points.
“RPA’s rich body of work speaks for itself, and I am excited about this opportunity to work with them on one of the most loved brands in the world, helping to grow that love between Honda and consumers,” said Ocampo.
All-New 2013 Accord ‘It Starts With You’ Campaign Highlights Honda’s Customer- Focused Approach to Engineering
September 17, 2012
Campaign debuts with Honda’s first-ever 90-second spot
TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 17, 2012 – The all-new 2013 Honda Accord is launching September 19, with an emotionally driven, integrated multimedia campaign designed to artfully highlight the new Accord’s sophisticated design, dynamic performance, rich feature content and value.
The ‘It Starts with You’ campaign, was built around the Honda philosophy of designing the Accord around the needs of the driver and occupants. The Accord campaign highlights numerous new technologies that enhance the model’s dynamic driving experience, as well as, the styling cues that improve visibility and efficiency.
“This campaign demonstrates how Honda’s deep understanding of the customer allowed our engineers to perfect the midsize sedan in the new Accord,” said Mike Accavitti, vice president of national marketing operations at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The new Accord excels in all areas that are important to the midsize buyer so we created an emotionally engaging launchcampaign that delivers that message while showing what makes Honda different from the competition and the smart choice.”
Starting this week, the Accord will maintain a heavy presence on TV with spots that have a decidedly real and earnest feel and are meant to capture everyday people living their busy lives.
“We didn’t want to show a commercial-perfect representation of life. Our characters have flaws,” said Jason Sperling, senior vice president and group creative director at RPA, Honda’s longstanding agency of record. “They get mad and pound the steering wheel. Sometimes they are happy, sometimes exhausted, sometimes frustrated or impatient. Sometimes they take their eyes off the road for a split second. Sometimes they just want a moment of peace.”
The Accord campaign also extends to include unique culturally relevant elements for Hispanic and African American consumers. Both campaigns were developed to be complementary with the general market “It Starts with You” campaign.
“The Hispanic market campaign focuses on the themes of achievement and moving forward without forgetting the past, which are representative of the Hispanic experience in the U.S.,” said Robert Santiago, director of client services at Orci.
To establish the “It Starts with You” premise, Honda, for the first time, is airing a 90-second spot, “We Know You.” Subsequent spots highlight specific areas of the Accord’s new feature set: technology, luxury, performance and safety. A series of 15-second spots focus on specific features like Lane Departure Warning and Honda’s exclusive LaneWatch™ blind spot camera system.
Spots will be seen during the Emmys® and during the most-talked-about new-season premieres, including “CSI,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Fringe,” “Mike and Molly,” “Modern Family,” “NCIS,” “Revenge,” “60 Minutes,” “The Good Wife,” “The Mentalist” and several others. There will be additional presence during the MLB World Series, college football, NFL, NHL Winter Classic and regular-season games and the NBA. Accord video units will also run prior to connected TV app content such as movies, TV and music via gaming consoles and Smart TV devises. In a Honda first, the Spanish-language TV spot will debut on an English-language network when it airs on NBC during the 2012 NCLR ALMA Awards on September 21.
The print, outdoor and online extensions of the campaign take a lighter look at humanity. Simple and iconic portraits of people demonstrate the benefits of a particular advanced Accord feature. In one execution, a woman’s overly large hairstyle hinders her peripheral vision, making a strong case for the vehicle’s LaneWatch™ capability. Other ads feature a baby lulled to sleep by the Accord’s extra-quiet interior and a bubble-gum-blowing executive whose view is blocked by an enormous bubble, showing a moment where the vehicle’s new Forward Collision Warning could help prevent an accident.
Print will run in “Forbes,” “People” and “Wired” and in high-profile special issues, including “Sports Illustrated” Swimsuit Edition and “TIME” Person of the Year issue. Outdoor will be seen in 28 markets, and national in-theater will run in October.
Two premier digital firsts will position Accord creative in new and interesting places:
--One of the first advertisers to integrate with Pulse, a news aggregating mobile and tablet app and will be featured on many of the most popular feeds.
--Sponsor of NFL video content across desktop, mobile and tablet, including Video on Demand.
To create immediate reach, home-page takeovers are planned on AOL, MSN, Yahoo! and YouTube. The Accord will also be the presenting sponsor of a new original Yahoo! video series, “The Road to Saturday,” which follows college football teams in a documentary style as they prepare for an upcoming game. In addition, Accord creative will also be integrated into the two largest mobile social games: Words With Friends and Scramble With Friends.
Honda offers a complete lineup of Honda cars, trucks and service through a network of 1,037 Honda dealerships within the United States. In 2012, Honda will mark 30 years of producing automobiles in the region1, which began with the Accord in Marysville, Ohio in November 1982. Having produced over 23 million vehicles in North America, Honda currently operates 7 majorautomobile manufacturing facilities in the region.
RPA Promotes J Barbush to Creative Social Media Director
August 27, 2012
Santa Monica, Calif., August 27, 2012 – RPA, the largest advertising agency headquartered in Los Angeles, and the third-largest independent agency in the country, announces the promotion of J Barbush, previously VP, Associate Creative Director, to the position of VP, Creative Social Media Director, reporting to Joe Baratelli, EVP, Chief Creative Officer. This is the first time RPA has designated “social media” in a creative title.
Barbush will oversee all social media work for Honda as well as the agency’s roster of clients. He recently helmed Honda’s presence on Pinterest with the lauded CR-V “Leap List”-themed Pintermission campaign, encouraging pinners to take a 24-hour break from Pinterest to go out and experience what they’ve been pinning.
He also led the creation of RPA’s Culture Feed, featuring a variety of posts that focus on RPA Associates and office culture, including 60 seconds with Super Bowl Panda. Other Honda projects he has recently worked on include Honda’s April Fool’s video TERII, the Million Mile Joe campaign and Fans of you too initiatives.
“J has a unique knack for being able to take a creative platform and see avenues where social media can be leveraged to instigate conversation and interest in honest and meaningful ways. His keen insights have helped Honda to attract more than 2.2 million fans on their Facebook page,” said Baratelli.
In Barbush’s 17 years at RPA, he has worked on a variety of projects for clients such as Acura, VH1’s “Behind the Music,” ampm, ARCO, Discovery Channel and Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. He began at RPA as a digital writer, and his passion for social media took off in 2006 when he created the first-ever brand character on Myspace, Gil the Crab, for the Honda Element.
Since then he has begun testing out the newest platforms for himself, using them the way average users would. This hands-on approach has become his social media philosophy—to be inclusive and real, fan and brand never being separated.
Barbush’s campaigns have been recognized by CLIOs, Webbys and One Show, IAAA, Beldings, Yahoo! Big Idea Chair, Yahoo! Searchlight and MIXX awards.