IQ News: L.A.-based Genex Unveils

Online Promotion for Acura
With an exterior design inspired by a rhinoceros and an interior patterned after the colors and designs of Santa Fe, N.M., the new 2001 Acura MDX sport utility vehicle begged for an unconventional publicity launch.
Enter Genex, a 100-employee, Los Angeles-based interactive agency, that created an online banner campaign and Flash-based Web site showcasing, among other things, the Torrance,Calif.-based, Japanese automobile manufacturer’s alliance with American Forests, a Washington-based reforestation organization.
From now until the vehicle’s launch in October, each new registered user at will authorize Acura to plant a tree as part of American Forests’ Global ReLeaf program.
In addition, Acura will award an MDX vehicle and an all-expense paid trip for two to Yellowstone National Park, one of several designated reforestation sites.
“It’s a challenge for an environmental group to work with a car company for obvious reasons,” said Pete Moran, managing director at Genex. “But they were excited to work with Acura because the MDX is an [ultra-low emissions vehicle] and American Honda, the parent company, has a strong commitment to the environment.”
Operating with an undisclosed budget, Genex wanted the site to create a sense of community and participation for Acura enthusiasts and potential customers.
In addition to an online survey, the site includes updates, stories and details about the MDX.
“The important story for us is for consumers to understand the levels of thought and consideration that are given anytime Acura brings out a new vehicle,” said Moran. “It’s about helping people understand what the [MDX] is about as opposed to describing the tires and engine. It’s more personable.” n