CASSIES Bronze: Honda drives home a successful spring

Rival neighbours Phil and Steve starred in book-ended spots to highlight the brand’s affordability.

Events, Seasonal and Short-Term

Situation Analysis: Spring is a key selling period for the Canadian automotive category, with many tactical sales messages in the market at one time. With manufacturers clambering for attention, the challenge was to find a way to get Honda onto the consideration set for customers who think Hondas are expensive. Honda has flexible payment options, such as bi-weekly, semi-monthly and monthly payment, that would meet the needs of price-driven customers, but many who would like to own a Honda feel that a Honda is just out of reach financially.

Insight & Strategy: The objective was to communicate that owning a Honda is more affordable than one might have thought. Buying a new car is a special moment in people’s lives, a memory that is created when a new car is driven off the lot and onto the driveway. The campaign was designed to capture not only the excitement and pride Honda customers felt when driving home a new car, but the response of people around them, particularly, “How can he afford a Honda?”

Execution: Running from March 2 to May 18, 2014 across television, IAB online units, Facebook and Twitter, the story of Phil driving home his new Honda was shot and narrated from two perspectives – Phil and his neighbour, Steve. On television, two ads, one shot from Phil’s perspective and the second almost identical ad from Steve’s, were book-ended in a commercial break. The rivalry between Phil and Steve also played out online and through Honda’s social media channels. The creative ended with the line, “Make your neighbour jealous for less. It’s easy to afford a Honda.” This was then followed by bi-weekly pricing and financing information.

Results: Activity on the “Build and Price” page of is an indicator of interest and a predictor of future sale. During the campaign period, site visitors were 8.5% more likely to build a car than before and after the sales event. Honda saw a sharp lift in sales March to May 2014, increasing by 14.9% over the same period the prior year, while industry growth was 2.2%.

Cause & Effect: Engagement with the brand was strong for unpromoted posts, with over 22,000 social impressions with close to 4,500 click-throughs. Distribution remained the same between 2013 and 2014 and there was no unusual promotional activity.

Client Credits: Honda Canada
Asst. VP, sales and marketing: Dave Jamieson
Senior manager, Honda sales: James Marchand
Advertising manager: Kate Lucek
Agency: Grip
Managing partner, business: Bob Shanks
Partner, creative: David Crichton
ACDs: Ben Steele, Mike Koe
Jr. AD: Rodrigo Diaz Mercado
CW: Jonathan King
Group account director: Michelle Tafler
Director, business: Lisa Good
Manager, business: Greg Price