Insights, Strategy & the Idea
In May 2008, Honda launched the new Accord, the spearhead of their premium challenge to Audi’s A4 and BMW’s 3 series. From proprietary Honda research, we knew that desirability, rather than rationality, was the most influential factor on sales in this specific automotive sector.
Unfortunately, Honda’s are known for being reliable, well built and efficient, NOT desirable. To drive sales in this sector, we had to make the Accord appeal to the heart, not just the head.
The target audience is a late 30s VW Golf/Audi A3 owner. They are ambitiously aspirational, with the emphasis on ambitious. Rather than fantasizing about their goals in life, they are not afraid of hard work and effort to get their desired results. They need to be challenged and rewarded for their hard work and effort.
The Honda philosophy is ‘Difficult is Worth Doing’ (DIWD), therefore the media strategy had to deliver the brand philosophy in two ways:
1. Challenge the Audience – seed DIWD concept several weeks before the car was available in dealerships.
2. Reward the Audience – through an emotional pay-off for their hard work in the seeding stage.
We kicked off with a series of unbranded communications to launch the concept of DIWD though large format outdoor, cryptic TV spots and optimised search driving the audience to the DIWD blog with a diary of a skydive. Unbranded print and TV ads, with skydiving cues, alluded to an event taking place on TV at 8.10pm, during the week of the event. The reward came with, the world’s first ever 3-minute live ad featuring an 18 strong skydive team spelling H,O,N,D and A, in sequence, demonstrating the philosophy behind the new Accord – ‘Difficult is Worth Doing’.
Results and Effectiveness
Desire for Accord – on Honda’s brand tracker, ‘desire’ leapt by a massive 38 points, more than double the client’s target. Desire to view – 200,000 extra people tuned in purely to watch the ad! Desire to talk about – over £2m of PR was generated during the campaign. Desire to find out more – Honda had over 39,000 unique visitors to the DIWD blog prior to the event, with over 4,000 prospects generated. Post event, traffic to Honda’s UK website was an enormous 400% higher than average! Desire to buy – over £1m of new Accord sales were generated in a single weekend.
A short documentry about how the new Honda ad was made.
Advertising Agency: 4Creative, London
Creative director: Tom Tagholm
Copywriter: James Springall
Art Director: Craig Hanratty
Director: Tim Van Someren