Ad Campaign for the All-New Honda Accord; "Beyond the Road" Instills Accord Pride in Everyone

September 11, 2007

by
RPA

Santa Monica, Calif., Sept. 11, 2007 — A fully integrated national advertising campaign for the all-new Honda Accord began Sept. 10. The strategy developed by Honda's long-standing agency of record, RPA, declares and celebrates the all-new Accord's personality and style by going "Beyond the Road."

The campaign communicates the emotion associated with Accord in a relevant, contemporary and satisfying way with the theme, "Beyond the Road," which separates the Accord from all other vehicles in its class. Manufacturers in this category make vehicles for the road: commuting, getting from point A to point B, running errands, etc. Honda was equally mindful of taking a close look at the lives of people and designed the Accord around their lives.

Targeting Gen X (29- to 41-year-olds), the audience that is most open to influence, these consumers are moving up in their careers, starting families and buying homes and are characterized as media-savvy, fun and self-reliant.

"We've been fortunate that the Baby Boomers fully embrace Accord. The marketing challenge is more with Gen X and even Gen Y. As their needs for a larger coupe or sedan evolve, we want position ourselves at the top of their consideration and aspiration list," said Tom Peyton, senior manager, national advertising for American Honda Motor Co.

In the 1970s, the Honda Accord was the "defining sedan" that changed the market. The sedan always remained a top seller and won 21 of 25 Car and Driver "10Best Cars" trophies, more than any other manufacturer. Keeping Accord updated and relevant is a key priority for this launch.

"Knowing how Honda designs cars?the fact that they think about how people live rather than just how they drive?we wanted to hit an emotional chord with these spots," said Joe Baratelli, SVP, creative director at RPA.

Television, featuring "Hold on Tight" by Electric Light Orchestra, includes three :30 spots and three :15 spots will be used primarily online. Multiple Oscar®-winner Kevin Spacey returns this year as the voice of Honda for TV. All three spots premiered during the first week of regular-season ESPN Monday Night Football on Sept. 10.

Spots will air on top-rated programs, including the premieres of Grey's Anatomy and NCIS. NBC customized minisodes will star the Accord and all-new primetime shows including Bionic Woman, Chuck, Journeyman, Life, and My Name Is Earl. Print debuts in October monthlies and USA Today on Sept. 11 with newspaper wraps scheduled for Sept. 16 in Accord's top markets. A deep list of targeted publications has been selected to maximize reach, including Businessweek, Entertainment Weekly, GQ, In Style, Real Simple and Vanity Fair.

A TiVo® initiative partners the Accord with ABC. Fifteen-second Accord pre-rolls will be placed before ABC Fall First Look promotional footage on the TiVo showcase.

The launch includes a rich media portal homepage roadblock is scheduled on Yahoo!, MSN and AOL to extend impact and awareness. On AOL, Accord will be the first-ever auto advertiser to run a one-hour network takeover and on MSN, Accord will be featured on first-ever rich media roadblocks across high-profile front pages.

To generate momentum and interest, several cross-media or sponsorship tactics are slated to facilitate consumer interaction. Examples include: o Entertainment Weekly Entertainer of the Year: Highlighting a person who has made an impact on the lives of entertainment enthusiasts, print will feature an exclusive editorial butterfly gatefold (Nov. 30 issue). Online includes exclusive sponsorship of the first ever Reader's Choice Entertainer of the Year game, two homepage roadblocks and six-week sponsorship of ?The Five? video series with :15 pre-roll. o Sports Illustrated: Sponsor of new SI Vault preview featuring 52 years of classic Sports Illustrated stories and photography. o MTV Network: Drive-In Theater Video Hub, a custom co-branded environment leveraging content from MTV Network sites, including vintage video, movies and music popular among Gen-Xers. o Network Video on Demand: Partnering with Web sites such as Joost, AOL and MSN to showcase CBS content. NBC online will include customized, exclusive fall-preview minisodes sponsored by Accord.

Additional online integrated takeovers or sponsorships are scheduled on CNET, ESPN, Time, YouTube, USA Today and Wired.

Events will further build emotional appeal between consumers and the Accord. Several programs are scheduled to support the Accord launch. They include: o Shop Accordingly: In conjunction with Macy's stores in San Francisco and Chicago, events will feature on-site vehicle displays, giveaways and product specialists. One Accord grand prize will be given away at each location. o Accord Coupe College Marketing Program: Twenty universities design marketing campaigns to support the new Accord Coupe. Three finalists present their campaigns to American Honda and are awarded cash grants for their university.

The Accord campaign also includes outdoor boards, in-theater, XM Satellite Radio, airport dioramas, high-impact outdoor wallscapes and subway tunnels in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Creative Credits Creative Directors: Joe Baratelli & David Smith Art Director: Chuck Blackwell Copywriter: Camille Sze Agency Producer: Gary Paticoff Interactive Art Director: Sam Hubbell Interactive Copywriter: Ryan Moore Production Company & Location: Anonymous Content, Los Angeles Co-Directors: Malcolm Venville & RPA Director of Photography: Toby Irwin Editor & Company: Robert Duffy, Lucas Spaulding: SpotWelders Music/Sound Design: (licensed track) ?Hold On Tight,? Electric Light Orchestra

About Honda Accord The new 2008 Accord has been styled to attract. Turn the key and continue a dialogue that began 30 years ago. One in which the needs of customers, as well as the environment, are heard and acted upon. Accord offers three engines: a 2.4 liter i-VTEC® 4-cylinder with 177hp, a 190-hp version and a new 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. The Accord's new V-6 features the latest generation of Variable Cylinder Management™ technology for better fuel efficiency. The Accord's Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ body structure disperses frontal crash energy over a wide area, helping keep it away from passengers. The Accord is also available with the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System and Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®.

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 http://www.rpa.com.