Honda, Acura Adjust Marketing In Reaction To COVID-19

American Honda Motor Co. is the latest automaker to adjust marketing and social media efforts to acknowledge the challenges its customers are facing.

Honda is launching creative today in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It falls under the auspices of “The Power of Dreams,” Honda’s ongoing brand campaign that first launched in 2015. 

The 30-second spot, “The Power Of Something Greater” from RPA, focuses on how coming together as a community can help people get through challenging times and emerge even stronger.

The campaign features visual elements tying directly to Honda’s corporate social responsibility response to COVID-19, highlighting its concern for customers and the support it is providing to the community in the form of contributions to food banks and meal programs, support for healthcare providers and the volunteer efforts of Honda associates, says Jay Joseph, vice president of the marketing division of automobile sales at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. 



“Our goal wasn’t simply to get a commercial on the air quickly, but to speak directly with our customers about our company’s overall response to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.,” Joseph tells Marketing Daily. 

A 15-second version of the spot is being shared on Honda social channels. A Spanish language version of the spot will begin airing in the coming days. 

The new spot is running supplementary to current Honda national brand creative featuring the CR-V and CR-V Hybrid.

Acura, American Honda’s luxury division, is encouraging people on social media to practice social distancing whenever possible through its #LessDriveMorePark campaign. In a move unusual for an automaker, the creative from MullenLowe prompts consumers not to drive, and to park vehicles except for essential travel. 

Honda and Acura dealers began airing local ads last week. Both brands are helping customers who financed their vehicles through Honda Financial Services or Acura Financial Services with payment extensions and deferrals, as well as available late fee waivers. 

One dealer spot, “Open for Service” (both in English and Spanish), reminds customers how Honda and the dealers that remain open are here to help.  The spot has a different voiceover in markets where dealerships are closed to let customers know help is still available online.

Starting April 1, Honda and Acura also will offer a "First Responder & Healthcare Professional Appreciation Offer" with a $500 discount for select and eligible first responders and healthcare professionals on new vehicles financed or leased through Honda or Acura Financial Services.

The automaker is donating supplies to healthcare providers, including N-95 masks. Honda also has repurposed 3-D printers at a number of Honda operations in North America to manufacture visors for protective face shields.

Nissan North America also recently launched a COVID-19-related spot March 26 and a dedicated web page on the automaker’s response to the pandemic. 

Ford Motor Co., Hyundai Motor America, Toyota Motor Sales USA and General Motors Co. also launched COVID-19 creative earlier in March.

Ford was the first to launch a COVID-19 focused spot on March 16. GM quickly followed on March 18. Toyota’s spot launched March 20 as did Hyundai’s creative. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles launched spots March 24 for both Jeep and Ram.

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