In the Wake of Election Buzz, Honda Launches New Honda Civic Spots Exclaiming "Freedom Is Choice"

November 6, 2006

by
RPA

Santa Monica, Calif., Nov. 6, 2006 — A national advertising campaign for the Honda Civic begins today. The strategy developed by Honda's long-standing agency of record, RPA, leverages the momentum and top-of-mind awareness of Civic as a young, hip and cool vehicle that began in the Model Year 2006 campaign. The Civic palindrome remains the signature and integration within the campaign.

As young adults across America struggle to find their voice in the November elections, the new Honda Civic spot ties into this theme by celebrating the mobility and freedom found in the vehicle. The Honda Civic "Freedom" spot (:30 and :15) touts "freedom is choice." A natural direction, given the literal Civic sensibility, "for the people, by the people" with the vehicle as a source of creative inspiration, the spot communicates the myriad of life's options and encourages consumers to own their decisions, whether it is to run or walk or, well, drive. Young, up-and-coming director Ace Norton, who only just turned 24, directed the spot. To artistically communicate Civic liberty, Norton used experimental film techniques that included CGI , stop-motion and live animation, topping off the upbeat activism in a voting booth, with the open-ended banner "Vote." Voice-over Kevin Spacey closes out: "Freedom . . . is choice. The Civic from Honda. Reverse your thinking."

The setting for Honda Civic Si "Game" spots (:30 and :15) defies car commercial conventions in the spirit of the brand's "reverse your thinking" slogan. Rather than the usual CGI-of-the-moment showcase, "Game," done by Swedish animators, RGB6, puts the Civic in the primitive CGI world of Tron, the cult classic from Disney, famed as the originator of CGI in a major film. The spot, sans bumping music beats, is notably without the expected hip track. This creative exclaiming "freedom is power" connects the film and the Honda Civic?they share inspiring retro-hip qualities.

Targeting experientially driven small-car buyers, these consumers love vehicles for the imagery and the statement they make, and see themselves as trendsetters with a unique sense of style. Spots will air on spot TV and cable networks, including MTV, FOX and Comedy Central and national sports, including NFL and NBA. Print ads will appear in a variety of magazines, including Car and Driver, ESPN the Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Maxim and Rolling Stone.

Online initiatives to support the Honda Civic Si include a partnership with the Honda Element to bring MySpace users the Ultimate Music Profile Contest, in-game product placement in Wild Tangent's racing game, Final Drive Nitro and "Coolest Cars in Entertainment" sponsorship on UGO.com.

Creative Directors: David Smith & Joe Baratelli Art Director: Nathan Crow Copywriter: Camille Sze Producer: Gary Paticoff

About the Honda Civic Every Honda Civic comes loaded with style, sophistication and the very latest in advanced technology. From the Civic Hybrid to the exhilarating new Civic Si Coupe or Sedan, there is a Civic to suit everybody. Select Civic models are available with the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System. Showcasing Honda's engineering at its best, the Civic features the latest i?VTEC? engine, offering torquey low-end grunt in addition to high-rpm horsepower. Civic embodies Honda's Safety for Everyone philosophy; the Advanced Compatibility Engineering? body enhances the Civic's ability to deal with crash energy in impacts with vehicles of differing size.

About RPA RPA, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., is the largest independent advertising agency based on the West Coast, with more than $1 billion in billings. RPA builds momentum for brands by offering its clients truly integrated campaigns that resonate throughout its disciplines, which include traditional advertising, interactive, and direct and event marketing. RPA also serves as a media planning and buying agency for clients such as MGM and Zatarain's. For more information, visit http://www.rpa.com.