Honda Set to Rock Minivan World with New Advertising Campaign

September 29, 2010


Santa Monica, Calif., Sept. 29, 2010 - A fully integrated national advertising campaign for the all-new 2011 Honda Odyssey creatively expresses a strategy developed by Honda's long-standing agency of record, RPA. The positioning is an evolution of past Odyssey advertising, and is designed to continue to elevate the image of the Odyssey, which has become the most-popular, best-selling minivan for young, progressive parents.

The new campaign is crafted to connect with those parents who are the "buyers of the best" (not indiscriminate spenders) with some being "hesitators," those who sometimes struggle to get past the minivan stigma. By showing off the sleek, new styling and the innovative, ingenious functionality, Honda presents the all-new 2011 Honda Odyssey as a vehicle worthy of desire. And love.

For these parents having kids doesn't trump their desire to maintain their own identity, careers, likes and lifestyles. This campaign shows how the all-new Odyssey can fit into and enhance their lives, instead of being a compromise.

"This campaign speaks directly to Gen Y and X and cleverly showcases the all-new 2011 Honda Odyssey while not so subtly encouraging parents to drive the Odyssey-like no van before," Tom Peyton, senior manager, national advertising, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

The television, print and digital creative all feature surreal "Vantasies," in which the all-new 2011 Honda Odyssey beckons parents with its wily minivan charms.

"The all-new Odyssey is different from other minivans. So the advertising needed to feel different as well." said Pat Mendelson, group creative director at RPA. "It highlights the cool styling and all the great features, but it does so with things like pyrotechnics, oysters on the half shell and a soundtrack by Judas Priest."

One spot ("Rock Van") began airing during the Little League® World Series, sponsored by Honda, in late August. As a sponsor of Disney's Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, a highly anticipated TV movie that began over Labor Day weekend, "Rock Van" footage aired during a sponsorship unit. Three Odyssey spots ("Rock Van," "Vanquility," "Romance") will have a heavy presence during fall season premieres, national broadcast, cable and cable sports programming.

The campaign relies heavily on persuasive uses of branded entertainment to talk to the Odyssey target:

  • Co-branded sweepstakes supported on Disney Channel, Radio Disney, Disney Online and Disney FamilyFun promoting an Odyssey giveaway that includes talent from Disney's Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam
  • Co-branded custom promotional spot driving tune-in for ABC's Dancing with the Stars, featuring a mom who, while sitting in the all-new 2011 Honda Odyssey with her husband and kids, is fantasizing about being a dancer
  • Co-branded custom creative airing on NBC Primetime
  • An online customized vignette starring celebrity chef Cat Cora using the all-new Odyssey at local farmers' markets tied to's new web series "Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora"
  • Additional customized vignettes on Nick at Nite, HGTV, Food Network and TNT, all showcasing the all-new Odyssey and its features

Media executions on hip media properties will also reach young parents, including:

  • Sponsorship of the "Guitar Hero® Warriors of Rock" demo and sweepstakes
  • Entertainment placements on MSN TV's Last Night on TV, Yahoo! omg! Celebrity Moms blog and Oscars coverage on and
  • On Pandora, music experts will create a hub housing six Odyssey-sponsored radio stations that fall into two categories: "Me-Time," made up of songs the target would listen to without kids, and "We-Time," a collection of songs that parents can listen to with kids

To reach this on-the-go target, there will be outdoor billboards in 25 key markets, in-theater placements and mall and gym advertising. In addition, parents will see Odyssey rich media on the Weather Channel iPhone® App and banners on a variety of mobile sites important to young parents.

A wide variety of magazines will feature Odyssey print, including In Style, National Geographic Traveler, This Old House and Men's Health. In Us Weekly, a celebrity crossword puzzle will have some answers found within the Odyssey ad, combining the target's love of games and celebrity fascination. Tying with the "Serenity" TV spot in Real Simple, "Serenity"/Real Simple tips will be featured and will promote a relaxation package sweepstakes.

Appealing to both parents and kids, Odyssey is sponsoring the "My Family Rocks" Fest on Nickelodeon's, a month-long community program spotlighting families who rock, as well as the Music Channel on

Talking to moms, the Odyssey online buy includes the iVillage "Don't Miss List" and roadblocks on In addition, Odyssey units will run on, one of the most popular parent bloggers, and across the BlogHer network.

Online sponsorships provide exposure for the all-new 2011 Honda Odyssey on high-reach Web sites that include Yahoo! home page and YouTube expandable masthead.

For social media gamers, the all-new Odyssey will appear in in-game integration in Social City, where users build cities based on population, happiness and money. Users are rewarded when they interact with Odyssey creative.

An event sponsorship with LEGO KidsFest in Boston will provide experiences that appeal to every member of the family. Honda will display the all-new 2011 Honda Odyssey, which will also include LEGO building stations, drawing and creating stations and photo opportunities.

About the all-new 2011 Honda Odyssey The completely redesigned 2011 Honda Odyssey improves on its already award-winning, class-leading design with a more distinctive style, higher fuel economy and greater interior versatility. The Odyssey has been an established minivan segment leader for more than a decade in terms of packaging innovation, handling, passenger accommodation, safety, quality, long-term value and overall refinement. Improvements to the fourth-generation Odyssey represent a new Honda vision for the "ultimate in family transportation."

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