What Do You Crave?

Sweets. Tranquility. Caffeine. If we were on "$100,000 Pyramid," you would respond, "things you crave." This may be true, but does positioning a car and its amenities as something to crave equate to an increase in sales? Honda hopes so.

The manufacturer's latest campaign for the CR-V compares the car to cookies, candy, coffee, a day at the beach and freshly fallen snow. The campaign, launched Sept. 28, targets 25- to 49-year-olds, and runs through September 2007.

One TV ad features a remixed version of the Elvis Presley song "Burning Love" to highlight the sought-after amenity of a navigation system with voice recognition. Presley himself was not only craved by gaggles of women, but indulged in some heavy-duty cravings himself. Watch the ad here.

Other ads portray CR-Vs as snowflakes, popcorn, chocolate-covered strawberries and a sunburned entity at the beach. Watch the ads here, here and here.

Take a close listen to the voice in the narration, for you might recognize it as belonging to a two-time Oscar-winning actor (flagrant hint: he won for "The Usual Suspects" and "American Beauty").

TV ads are running during shows such as "Lost" and "Smallville"; print debuted in USA Today, followed by Us Weekly; and outdoor ads will appear in 20 key markets, with mall boards in 86 malls in 10 markets.

"The campaign's goal is to attract the attention of consumers who are often young, active people who may be single or just starting families," said Coby Low, senior vice president--director of media resources at RPA, the agency behind the media and creative campaign components.

"After one look at the all-new CR-V, it's clear that a new ingredient has been added to its class-leading dependability, quality and reliability: style. This new styling enables the advertising to appeal to consumers on an emotional as well as rational level. The CR-V has evolved from something that consumers may have merely wanted, to something that they crave," Low continued.

In addition, a Web site was created where users can upload pictures or descriptions of things they crave. Thus far, celebrity gossip, peanut butter, lightshows, the sound of silence, bacon and float tube fishing are among the items mentioned. Users can also add tags to their submissions, such as "peanut butter," and this ties in with the SEM portion of the campaign. If someone searched for peanut butter or bacon, for example, they'd see an ad for the Crave Web site. Sure enough, I searched for bacon--and Crave was the top ad.

Watch out for Suduko games/advertising running online beginning in November and in print ads in People and Entertainment Weekly through January.

Overall, this campaign has given me the munchies. The media munchies. And the gummy bears look good, too.

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