Honda dips CR-V campaign in chocolate

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Car manufacturer Honda rolled out a campaign it hopes will get consumers craving its new CR-V.

The national ad campaign, which began Sept. 28, encompasses broadcast, print, interactive, outdoor and events. The effort celebrates the spirit of consumer desires, as cravings like chocolate, ice cream and popcorn are juxtaposed with the CR-V.

"Honda's goal is to attract the attention of consumers interested in a versatile crossover utility vehicle that are often young, active people who may be single or just starting families," said Brett Bender, vice president, management supervisor at agency RPA in Santa Monica, CA.

The 30- and 15-second television spots include computer-generated animation. Kevin Spacey returns this year to be the voice of Honda. One spot features a remixed version of Elvis Presley's "Burning Love." This targets 25- to 49-year-olds and appeared during the season premieres of "Lost" and "Smallville."

Print debuted in USA Today, followed by an Us Weekly spectacular in the Oct. 6 issue. Outdoor ads will appear in 20 markets, and boards will be featured in 86 malls in 10 markets. The 30-second spot featuring Elvis will be played in cinemas.

The site at www.crave.honda.com features user-generated content. Visitors can submit things they crave in the form of a photo with a description. They can add tags to their submissions, such as "chocolate."

"Leveraging the tagging concept found on www.crave.honda.com, search marketing drives traffic from crave-related searches back to the CR-V Crave site," Mr. Bender said. "A vehicle-specific search campaign also targets 2007 CR-V searchers."

As for online advertising, portal home-page roadblocks were set for MSN, Yahoo and AOL in early October. Sites such as EW.com, E! Online, Movies.com, People, Fandango and Yahoo Entertainment plan roadblocks this month as well.

In San Francisco, CR-Vs were displayed at the Macy's Passport Cocktail Party and Gala in September. In addition, a CR-V activation setup was positioned in front of the Union Square Macy's. It was staged like a photo shoot set, and people who passed were allowed to pose with the CR-V and Macy's shopping bags and receive an instant photo in a Crave-branded frame.

From mid-November through December, similar Macy's CR-V events will take place in Chicago and Atlanta.

This is Honda's largest integrated ad campaign for model year 2007. Honda expects to build brand momentum and boost consumer awareness of the CR-V. The campaign runs through August 2007. FAD, a design and CGI directing house, will assist with the effort. HUM will be responsible for sound.

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