All-New Honda CR-Z Sport Hybrid Ad Campaign Utilizes New 3-D Technology

September 9, 2010


Santa Monica, Calif., Sept. 9, 2010 - A fully integrated national advertising campaign for the launch of the all-new Honda CR-Z sport hybrid began Aug. 30. The strategy developed by Honda's long-standing agency of record, RPA, centers on the duality of this new vehicle category: sport hybrid.

Targeting youthful 25- to 35-year-olds, the campaign uses a variety of nontraditional executions to catch the attention of this tech-savvy age group. On-the-rise 3-D technology suits the launch of this new vehicle category and will attract the target audience across several platforms: in-theater, print, events and interactive.

"The unique and groundbreaking aspects of the CR-Z gave us the freedom to push the boundaries of traditional advertising," said Steve Center, vice president of national marketing operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "From new applications of 3-D technology to social-media gaming integration, the CR-Z campaign strategically engages the target audience on multiple levels."

Throughout the campaign, the theme of opposites in harmony is used to show how complete opposites-like sport and hybrid-can come together to create something compelling and powerful. Two spots, "Fire & Ice" (:30, :15) and "Eclipse" (:30, in-theater 3-D :30, :15) bring this concept to life.

"The CR-Z is an engineering contradiction, and Honda has a history of defying convention. With this work, we wanted to introduce the new car but also weave in the idea that all assumptions were challenged," said Adam Lowrey, creative director, RPA.

Both spots began on Aug. 30 as part of an MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) promotion. On Sept. 12, both spots will air during the VMAs telecast, and the pre-show will feature a CR-Z red-carpet appearance. The VMA pre-show will also include a live red-carpet performance on the Honda CR-Z Stage by chart-topping hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj. To keep the attention of entertainment-minded consumers, a CR-Z interactive roadblock will break online on Entertainment Weekly the following day, Sept. 13.

Spots begin Sept. 13 on network prime premieres, including Amazing Race, Chuck, Dancing with the Stars, Gossip Girl, Modern Family, Raising Hope and Two and a Half Men and will air on cable and sports.

"Eclipse" will run in 3-D in-theater throughout the holiday season. It will run during Resident Evil Afterlife, Saw VII, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, TRON: Legacy, Piranha 3D and Gulliver's Travels.

In October, Maxim will publish its first-ever 3-D issue featuring a 3-D cover story, co-branded 3-D glasses, and a 3-D phantaglyph® CR-Z print ad. Phantaglyph® technology makes images more dimensional and realistic-looking. Instead of floating off the page, the CR-Z looks like it is sitting on the page. The print execution will drive traffic to a Honda 3-D online destination.

Niche magazines that align with the CR-Z lifestyle image and design quality will be featured in GOOD, Surface and Intersection as well as broad-reach publications, including Elle, ESPN The Magazine, Marvel Comics, Rolling Stone, Us Weekly and auto-enthusiast publications.

CR-Z rich media will be showcased in the Wired iPad® app in the October and November issues. Also, there is a CR-Z sponsorship of an Entertainment Weekly "Must List" iPad® app where editors pick the 10 things you need to see, hear or read every week.

Out-of-home CR-Z creative will run on billboards in the top 10 markets.

The "opposites in harmony" theme was tied into music with an Entertainment Weekly print and online sponsorship. This feature highlighted editors' picks of the best collaborative mash-ups/duets and online discussed dream duets. A music blog sponsorship continues to run.

Music video branded entertainment aligns the CR-Z campaign theme with Jason Derülo, an artist who mixes music styles-the fusion of pop, rock, electronic and R&B. The CR-Z appeared in the recent chart-topping music video by Der?lo, "Ridin' Solo."

Several interactive placements will reach a broad target and build mass awareness. CR-Z takeovers are scheduled on Yahoo!, YouTube, CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, USA Today and Washington Post.

To leverage one of the fastest-growing activities on social networks, a CR-Z sponsorship on the new Facebook game, Car Town, by Cie Games, includes CR-Z billboards, a CR-Z showroom where a video wall showcases a CR-Z spot and a custom activity that will remain in the game after the campaign conclusion.

On Sept. 23, Honda will be the first 3-D advertiser in Times Square. The event includes distribution of 3-D glasses to view the spot, CR-Z displays, photo activity with 3-D backdrop and onsite Sony racing simulators featuring Gran Turismo® 5 from Sony Computer Entertainment America. CR-Z is integrated in the upcoming console game.

In October, Honda will sponsor Vimeo's first-ever Online Video Awards; the event concludes with a CR-Z-sponsored creative artistic project where video mapping/architectural projection on the IAC building in New York will feature the latest in animation techniques.

Honda launched its first completely interactive digital brochure and app for the all-new CR-Z because of ever-changing media consumption trends coupled with consumers' growing reliance on and preference for consuming information on their portable electronic devices. The digital brochure and app are easily accessible to the millions of iPad®/iPhone®/iPod touch® (iOS devices) users and are designed to evoke a familiar emotional connection between the consumer and the car.

About Honda CR-Z Developed as a stylish, driver-focused vehicle with an emphasis on efficient performance, the all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z introduces a sleek two-passenger coupe design with quick, sporty handling to the gasoline-electric hybrid segment. A 1.5-liter i VTEC® 4-cylinder engine works with Honda's unique, compact and lightweight Integrated Motor Assist IMA® system to supply both power and efficiency to the CR-Z. A sport-focused, six-speed manual transmission is a first for any mass-produced hybrid. An automatic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is available and includes steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual-like gear-ratio control.

About RPA RPA, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., is a leading independent advertising agency. 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's client list includes American Honda, both the Honda and Acura brands, California Department of Public Health, La-Z-Boy, Farmers Insurance Group, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Luxor Hotel and Casino, and Excalibur Hotel & Casino, and it is the media planning and buying agency for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Lenox Financial Mortgage. For more information, visit