New Honda ad campaign focuses on crossovers, minority consumers

Honda now sells more light trucks in the U.S. than sedans.

Honda Motor Co.’s latest ad campaign emphasizes three key crossovers as it looks to tap into growth opportunities with minority consumers.

The campaign, composed of five 30-second ads, includes direct appeals to African-American and Hispanic buyers in two of the spots, “Para Para” and “Family Dinner.”

Honda hopes the messaging around durability, reliability and quality in “Para Para,” which is available in English and Spanish, resonates with Hispanic viewers.

The spot aims to demonstrate that Honda’s crossover lineup meets the needs of every family member in various phases of their lives.

Key products

And the ad campaign feeds a key product line for Honda. The automaker now sells more light trucks in the U.S. than cars. Through September, U.S. sales of Honda brand light trucks grew 5.3 percent to 569,594 vehicles while car sales slipped 9.3 percent to 522,920 vehicles.

“Para Para” was produced by Orci Advertising and will run on Spanish networks such as Univision, Telemundo, ESPN Deportes and NBC Universo, among others. It also will be available on YouTube and Hulu Latino.

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In its “Family Dinner” spot, Honda, together with agency Muse Communications, aims to introduce African-American audiences to the reworked subcompact HR-V and midsize Pilot along with the compact CR-V. All three crossovers are key for Honda in the U.S. Sales of the CR-V — now Honda’s top-selling vehicle — fell 1.2 percent through September while HR-V deliveries dropped 5.5 percent. Pilot sales surged 42 percent.

The spot highlights the Honda Sensing suite of safety tech such as lane-departure warning. The spot will run on BET, OWN, ABC, CBS, TV One and Fox. The campaign also features general-market spots titled “Why Not?,” “Why Pilot?” and “Why HR-V?”

‘All audiences’

Susie Rossick, assistant vice president of Honda marketing, said the brand will continue its dedication to “speaking to all audiences and connecting to them with marketing that incorporates meaningful cultural cues that you can see across our campaigns.”

“As the multicultural population continues to not just grow but also thrive, Honda will be there to support these growing audiences and communities,” Rossick said in an email to Automotive News.

The ad push will have a digital component for the Pilot and HR-V, with standard and animated banners, demo videos, web promotions and homepage takeovers on major websites such as ESPN and MSN.

The “Why Not?” spot featuring the Pilot, CR-V and HR-V began in September and is expected to take on a heavier advertising schedule this month, along with the “Family Dinner” and “Para Para” spots. The “Why Pilot?” spot will air Monday, with “Why HR-V?” airing in the coming months. Digital advertising for the campaign is running now through November, with HR-V digital running in early 2019.

“Trucks and SUVs have gone from 46 to 59 percent of Hispanic new vehicle sales over the past four years,” Rossick said. “We are also seeing this shift to SUVs with African American consumers.”

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