Honda is hoping that people who have hesitated to buy a minivan because of the soccer-person stigma will think again. The company is launching a humorous campaign for the all-new 2011 Honda Odyssey that plays on the idea of minivans as a rolling epitaph for the freewheeling single life. The theme is that the vehicle's styling gives Gen X and Y owners permission to imagine the car has some street credibility. The new Odyssey is stylish enough to be cool and functional enough to be a kid wagon.
The effort includes three TV spots, one having launched in late August, running in heavy rotation on season premieres, national broadcast, cable, and sports programming. One spot that began airing during the Little League World Series (which is also sponsored by Honda) posits the Odyssey as a rock van. Another makes the minivan a symbol of automotive tranquility for a harried professional mom.
Honda launched that ad as part of its sponsorship of Disney's "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam," a TV movie that began over Labor Day weekend. The Torrance, Calif. automaker will have co-branded sweepstakes on Disney Channel, Radio Disney, Disney Online and Disney FamilyFun, dangling the vehicle as a grand prize and featuring talent from the "Camp Rock 2" film. Odyssey is sponsoring the "My Family Rocks" Fest on Nickelodeon's ParentsConnect.com, a month-long community program spotlighting families who rock, as well as the Music Channel on NickJr.com.
The campaign, which was developed by Honda's agency of record Santa Monica-based RPA, also has a co-branded tune-in spot for ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," in which a mom in the Odyssey with her husband and kids dreams of being a dancer. Other tie-ins include a co-branded custom creative airing on NBC Primetime; an online customized vignette starring celebrity chef Cat Cora using the Odyssey at local farmers' markets tied to Disney.com's new Web series "Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora."
The company says other vignettes will run on Nick at Nite, HGTV, Food Network and TNT. Honda is also Sponsoring "Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock" demo and sweepstakes; has placements on MSN TV's Last Night on TV, Yahoo! omg! Celebrity Moms blog and Oscars coverage on EW.com and People.com.
Honda is also doing a campaign on Web-radio channel Pandora involving six Odyssey-sponsored radio stations in either a "Me-Time," category featuring songs for grownups or "We-Time," a collection of songs in the Dan Zanes vein.
Out-of-home will include billboards in 25 key markets, in-theater placements and mall and gym advertising; Odyssey rich media will also run on the Weather Channel iPhone App and banners on a variety of mobile sites important to young parents.
Honda says Odyssey print will run in magazines like In Style, National Geographic Traveler, This Old House and Men's Health. Some unusual elements include a celebrity crossword puzzle in Us Weekly where the answers are hidden in the Odyssey ad and a program in Real Simple mirroring one of the TV spots called "Serenity"/Real Simple Tips" tied to a a relaxation package sweepstakes.
Honda is also advertising the vehicle on iVillage "Don't Miss List" and via roadblocks on Parents.com, on parent blog Dooce.com and across the BlogHer network.
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.