We can’t all drive race cars. First, there’s the insurance. Second, there’s the likelihood of constant speeding tickets. Third, there’s the incompatibility with crappy weather, especially snow.
I’m always a little incredulous when I see the folks who drive their Chevrolet Corvettes and the like in two feet of snow and ice. But I was once one of those crazy people — I used to drive a Pontiac Firebird year-round, including some doozy Michigan winters. Sorry, I digress.
Even though we can’t all drive race cars, we like the sexy connotation of sleek design lines and speed. Honda is playing on those emotions with a brand campaign, which broke Tuesday night during the NBA Conference Finals.
The 30-second spot from AOR RPA, beyond reminding consumers that Honda has the most robust racing portfolio of any automaker, also debuts the Civic Type R and Civic Si. The two high-performance vehicles have been eagerly anticipated and round out the 10th-generation all-new Civic lineup.
It’s a fun-to-watch ad. The CGI used to show the car morphing from vehicle to vehicle is really cool. Titled “Racing at Heart,” it highlights Honda racing programs including the Verizon IndyCar Series, Red Bull Global Rallycross and desert truck racing. Of course, the race car morphs to a street car at the end, but by that point, it’s easy to see the car’s race car heritage in its sleek design.
Besides the NBA Conference Finals, the spot will be showcased during the ABC broadcast of the 2017 Indianapolis 500 on May 28, as well as during “500” qualifying on May 20 - 21. The campaign includes additional broadcast, print, digital and social amplifications. The spot also will air during the NHL Conference Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Finals, during Red Bull Global Rallycross race competition, as well as on networks targeting performance-minded viewers such as Comedy Central, Spike TV, FX, among others. From a digital standpoint, www.racewithhonda.com is being overhauled and will serve as the destination hub of the racing campaign.
Honda also is launching a motorsports influencer campaign, taking its long-running “Fastest Seat in Sports” campaign, the long-standing experience that gives a celebrity the chance to go on a two-seat ride leading the start of a Verizon IndyCar Series race with legendary Indy 500 champion driver Mario Andretti to the next level. Eight different influencers from a variety of backgrounds, from base jumping adrenaline junkies to science buffs like Tory Belleci from “Myth Busters,” will discover their inner racer at heart by helping start an IndyCar Series race riding behind Andretti in the Honda IndyCar two-seater.
The campaign aims to demonstrate how the brand’s deep roots in competition inspire the engineering of the Honda vehicles available to its customers. So even if you can’t drive a race car every day to work, you can still reap some of the elements in your everyday street car. Needless to say, there are no minivans featured in the spot. Sorry, minivan drivers, your comparison to a race car is just not going to happen.