The main objective was to build brand equity during a time when vehicle inventory was low and Honda was gearing up to release their first EV. To do this we chose to tell a story with emotional resonance, one strongly rooted in Honda history that laddered up to where Honda plans to go in the future. The concept that resulted is an epic, first-person ride through some of the most iconic milestones of Honda innovation–past, present and future. We targeted current owners, potential owners, and future owners, the sweet spot being potential Honda buyers.
Innovation comes from people with an amazing capacity to dream up and apply creative ideas, to fail and try again, and to keep moving forward no matter what. This sort of grit and determination is hard to ignore, and truly inspiring. Honda, like many great people, has always had determination running through its veins. This youthful and challenging spirit that leads to innovation is what we chose to bring to life in our messaging.
Our strategy was to create a significant brand moment for Honda that had a lasting impact and set them apart from other automakers in the eyes of customers, dealers, and Honda associates. The path to achieving this included showcasing their most innovative products alongside nods to their future innovations. The narrative features a true underdog story of triumph and perseverance, a powerful way to drive brand opinion and make an emotional connection with audiences.
The execution features a rapid and seamless series of some of the most important moments in Honda history, starting with the first Honda A-type auxiliary motorized bicycle on the streets of 1950s Japan and ending with the yet-to-be-released Honda rocket as it leaves Earth’s atmosphere. The spot includes the first F1 World Championship win by Max Verstappen as well as several other records set by Honda vehicles. In all, the story spans almost 100 years of Honda innovation, each shot bringing to life a fully realistic POV of a Honda driver. It’s a story only a company like Honda can tell.
In our testing and media tracking, all the right metrics moved upwards. The spot showed outstanding metrics for branding–93% brand match compared to the 77% norm. Change was a key communication point for this ad and it also exceeded the norm significantly (693 vs. 663). In terms of organic responses, the comments were overwhelmingly positive.
Perhaps the best measure of success in a brand loyalty campaign, the response from fans to dealers to Honda employees was overwhelmingly positive. Organic postings had above-norm completion rates and we still receive letters from fans and Honda associates applauding the messaging. It’s been so well received that it’s now airing across the world. Since airing, other Honda markets have requested the spot for their markets, one of the best signs of success for our clients and partners.