All-New Honda Civic Ad Campaign Celebrates "To Each Their Own"

April 20, 2011


Santa Monica, Calif., April 20, 2011 — A fully integrated national advertising campaign for the launch of the all-new Honda Civic begins April 20. The strategy developed by Honda's long-standing agency of record, RPA, demonstrates the idea that we're all different and there's a unique Civic for each of us. Since the target personalizes everything in their lives from social media to fashion, the all-new Civic is positioned to be the latest canvas for personalization.

Featuring the widest array of choices (Coupe, Sedan, Hybrid, performance Si, fuel-efficient HF or Natural Gas) available in its class, the 2012 Civic is the most personalizable compact on the market. The intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) lets each Civic driver control what's important to them like their audio preferences (including iPod library), available navigation-system turn-by-turn direction system, fuel-economy readings. Drivers can also manage vehicle functions that can be personalized (e.g., door locks, headlights) and displays such as personalized wallpaper.

"The Civic gets credit for being established, trusted, well-known and reliable. The challenge with this campaign is to get Gen Y to give Civic credit for being inventive and cool. To turn some of these perceptions into thinking of Civic as well-designed, trendy and technologically advanced," said Tom Peyton, senior manager, national advertising, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

To bring attention to the variety of different Civic models and the idea of "To Each Their Own," the campaign features five distinct characters. Each represents a different model and shows that there's a Civic right for each person, no matter who—or what—you are:

  • The Urban Woodsman, Jack, lives in the city but is at home in the woods. He likes his Hybrid for its great fuel efficiency, which comes in handy on his many trips to the great outdoors.
  • The Zombie, Mitch, is a salesman who's into high-tech gadgets. His Civic Sedan is loaded with options like Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and navigation system with FM Traffic.
  • The Monster, Teeny, is a bubbly and studious college coed. Her practical nature and frugal budget align with the fuel-efficient HF model.
  • The Ninja, Aiko, is cute, innocent and deadly. A martial-arts phenom who's partial to red licorice and arcade games, she pairs well with the high-energy performance of the Si model.
  • Cesar, the Champion Luchador, is somewhat of a celebrity. He's handsome, charming and a bit vain so he, of course, appreciates the Civic Coupe's sleek lines.

"We want to talk directly with our target by tapping into their appreciation for 'collective individualism'—addressing the diversity of Civic drivers while also engaging them around their common interests. The five different characters keep it entertaining and set the campaign apart. But, just as importantly, reveal that there's a Civic out there for everyone," said Joe Baratelli, EVP, ECD at RPA.

Four ("Apartment," "Woodsman," "Zombie," "Ninja") of five new Civic spots begin airing on network April 20. "Monster" will debut on May 5.

Music plays a prominent role in each spot. The spots feature several breakthrough artists, including: Snake and Jet's Amazing Bullit Band, McChris, Barry Louis Polisar, The Virgins and Oh Land.

Honda Civic spots will air during the premieres or season finales of highly rated programming including Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, NCIS, Vampire Diaries, Bones, Fringe, Chuck, Nikita, The Bachelorette and So You Think You Can Dance. In addition, spots will during the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs and finals, NBA playoffs and finals and on full-episode players on network websites and Hulu. As part of NBC's "Green Week," a custom co-branded 60-second Civic vignette will feature an original song written and performed by The Roots (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon's backup band).

Extending awareness of the Civic online, a combination of tactics tap into Gen Y's varied interests, including pop culture, movies, music, gaming and fashion. Homepage takeovers are slated on MSN and YouTube. Display advertising will appear on variety of websites.

Beginning in May and June issues, print creative will be featured in publications such as Elle, ESPN the Magazine, Maxim, PARADE, People, Rolling Stone, Time and Wired. The creative features all five characters from the TV creative.

Out-of-home amplifies the Civic campaign messaging with in-theater buy placement of "Apartment," outdoor bulletins in more than 25 top markets, wild postings in the top 18 markets and the Civic video creative will be featured on the Disney Times Square digital billboard during the month of May.

About Honda Civic The entire redesigned ninth-generation Civic lineup is more fuel-efficient with two models — the all-new Civic HF and the Civic Hybrid — each delivering fuel-economy estimates of more than 40 mpg on the highway. The Civic Sedan, Civic Coupe and Civic Natural Gas models are also estimated to achieve improved fuel economy compared to the current models. Along with improved fuel economy, the new Civic lineup also delivers more performance, particularly with the Civic Si. The Civic Si sedan and coupe models will be equipped with a larger, more powerful 2.4-liter engine as well as a new 6-speed manual transmission. The 2012 Civic lineup includes a sedan and a coupe with conventional gasoline models, a new "HF" high-fuel-economy version, two sporty "Si" performance versions, along with one hybrid and a natural gas alternative-fuel variant.

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. For more information, visit