Rubin Postaer & Associates, generally known as RPA, is California's biggest privately owned agency, still fiercely independent despite the widespread consolidation within the industry. Founders Larry Postaer and Gerry Rubin say they want to keep it that way, and so does their client Honda, their biggest account by far, and a loyal supporter since the agency launched in 1986. Until 2012 that is. At the end of the year, Honda called a review of the account, presenting RPA with a major challenge to its future. There was a huge sigh of relief no doubt when RPA was reappointed to most - though not all - of the business in early 2013. Rubin and Postaer, both now in their 70s, remain co-chairman of the agency, but no longer have executive roles. Bill Hagelstein is president & CEO, with Joe Baratelli as EVP & chief creative officer. The main agency is still in Santa Monica, but there are seven field offices spread across the US handling regional creative and media, mostly for Honda. RPA is probably best known for its TV advertising - it is regularly one of the single most prolific agencies during each year's Super Bowl ad blitz - but also offers all other services under its own roof, including digital, social and media. AdAge estimated revenues of $131m in 2020.
Capsule checked 21st June 2021
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Account assignments & selected contact information
Historical profile information for RPA
Adbrands Social Media 28th Feb 2019: "The More That You See...". RPA partnered with the Dr Seuss estate for this charming animation for Farmers Insurance. It follows in the same theme as the long-running Hall of Claims campaign, in which JK Simmons (of 'Whiplash' and 'Counterpart' fame) plays the custodian of a museum of strange-but-true accidents, all based on real claims handled by Farmers. Indeed, the campaign's slogan "We know a thing or too because we've seen a thing or two" has always sounded very Seussian, so how appropriate to team up with Theodor Seuss Geissel's immortal creations to celebrate what would have been his 115th birthday on Sunday. That's Simmons on voiceover of course; shame he had to rush through it to get in under the 60-second mark.
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th February 2017: Ads Of The Week: "Yearbooks". Yes, we know Super Bowl is yesterday's papers, but it's been a bit of a quiet week for new spots... No doubt President Trump told his friends (does he have any?) that the victory of his beloved Patriots was his own personal WIN, but there were a few other triumphs among those advertisers who hadn't already released their spots to the public. One of the best was this charming spot for Honda from RPA. Only Steve Carell was sneak-peeked in advance of the game, but the stellar line-up of other talents is pretty darn impressive. And so is the technical skill used to animate those old yearbook portraits.
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Jan 2017: There was proof once again that, in the media buying business, today's joy can quickly turn into tomorrow's misery. Publicis Media's end-of-2016 gains of Fiat Chrysler and a greater share of global Mars were all but obliterated by two beginning-of-2017 losses. American Honda reversed a decision made three years ago to move media for the Honda and Acura brands from indie RPA to what is now MediaVest Spark. That $600m account will now move back to RPA. Meanwhile Starcom will surrender media for Coca-Cola Company in China to a newly created unit of Dentsu Aegis Network, to be baptised Dentsu Coca-Cola Community.
Adbrands Weekly Update 19th May 2016: Ads Of The Week: "Square". Very clever effects in RPA's latest for Honda in the US, so casually deployed and so seamless and that you'd almost believe they were real. It's an ad that adds new meaning to the taunt "Don't be so square".
Adbrands Weekly Update 7th Jan 2016: Ads of the Week: "The Dreamer". There's something in the water at American Honda and their longtime agency RPA, which delivers this visually stunning spot for the redesigned Civic. It's a delightfully extreme CGI blow-out, as Honda's design engineer lets rip with the full force of his imagination. With apologies to When Harry Met Sally, we'll have what he's having.
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