In the process of arguing that there are, in fact, things to be optimistic about such as new technology, the effort also manages to cleave to a new positioning launched last January that links Honda and its cars to technological innovation, design, discovery and experimentation.
The TV aspect of the campaign involves a 30-second spot that launched Wednesday on network and cable television. The existentialist ad, featuring the band Vintage Trouble, is set to an original score and lyrics leveraging a “One More Thing to Love about Today” theme. The band starts by singing about how crappy things really are -- a point made with interspersion of newsreel footage about Wall Street, foreclosures, pollution, protests, global warming, and everything else we hate. “That’s just where it’s at,” the band sings.
Cut to a young woman driving a Civic, who says “Except ... it isn’t!,” and suddenly there’s a new message: lighten up, or as a couple of guys in a Civic put it, “Today ... is pretty great.” The here-and-now idea is elaborated with people extolling selfies, self-expression, art, and technology while driving the car. There’s also a two-minute version of the ad on the Web, plus home page takeovers on MSN, Yahoo and First Watch on YouTube starting next week.
Music is certainly the route to mental equanimity, god knows, and the campaign is going there by doing unique programs in Spotify using music discovery site SoundHound, and Internet sensations like Adventure Time and Nyan Cat.
“This new Civic campaign connects with a new generation of buyers by prompting them to focus on the positive and consider what they love about today,” said Mike Accavitti, SVP of auto operations at American Honda Motor Co., Inc., in a statement. “The Civic campaign also introduces a crew of fun pop-cultural references that will pique Gen Y's attention across media they frequent.”
The Spotify program wraps music, native advertising and social media into what Honda says is a first-ever “digital scrapbook” where users can connect their presence on different social platforms with the experience set to music they were listening to at different times in their lives. Honda will also have song previews on the music discovery site SoundHound.
On MTV, Honda is sponsor of the live digital stream of the channel’s “Artist to Watch 2014” program. There will also be sponsorship of mobile games like MoviePop and Scramble with Friends. A similarly themed print campaign also will run in auto-enthusiast publications.