New Ad Campaign Expresses Passion of Honda Racing From IndyCar® Racing to Dirt Bikes

March 23, 2007


Santa Monica, Calif., March 23, 2007 — A national advertising campaign for Honda Racing begins today on ESPN SportsCenter. The strategy developed by Honda's long-standing agency of record, RPA, focuses on leveraging the company's unparalleled racing involvement into a passion, commitment and performance story that benefits the consumer-vehicle line.

"Honda's passion for racing goes back to day one, when Soichiro Honda founded the company," said Jim Real, RPA associate creative director. "We wanted to create a spot that captured and celebrated the company's competitive spirit."

The :30 spot, "Starting Up," focuses on a series of quickly cut vignettes of Honda race cars, motorcycles and consumer vehicles all at the moment of ignition. "We've seen so many racing spots in the past that were merely cars driving around the track. Commercials like that are pretty invisible; we wanted something more dramatic," said Rich Pass, RPA associate creative director.

Veteran director Jeff Zwart of was selected to shoot the spot. "We knew Jeff was the only guy to go to for this project. He's a championship rally driver as well as a great director, so he knows his stuff," said Real.

Targeting men who are racing enthusiasts while also expanding to the broader audience as well, the spot will also air during the first race at Homestead on March 24 on ESPN2. The network media coverage is concentrated during the race period, with a heavier presence during Indy500®.

Several print executions that integrate with the TV spot will appear in auto- and racing-enthusiast publications. To reach a broader audience and promote tune-in during key race periods, print will also be featured in USA Today.

Interactive advertising will help round out the campaign during the month of May, concentrating on the Indy500 warmup and race period on the ESPN and Speed TV Web sites. The creative integrates with the campaign and includes :15 versions of the TV spot. In addition, search and site targeting will be used to maximize Honda's presence on Honda/Indy Racing League® sites to help drive traffic to the racing Web site at

Exec. Creative Director: Larry Postaer Creative Directors: Joe Baratelli, David Smith Art Director: Rich Pass Copywriter: Jim Real Agency Producer: Brian Donnelly Interactive Art Director: Alon Burgin Interactive Copywriter: Dan Roberts Production Company: Director: Jeff Zwart, Editor & Company: Rick Lawley, The White House Music/Sound Design: none Principal Performers: Greg Tracy, Gavin Slalton, Douglas Toland, Stephan Papadalas, Joe Bryd, Jeremy McGrath and Jeremy Hall

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, Lenox Financial Mortgage and Zatarain's. For more information, visit