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TOV Forums > General Talk > > Re: Honda Places US Ad Account Under Review

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TSX69
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Honda Places US Ad Account Under Review    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-06-2012 07:31
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American Honda Places $700 Million US Ad Account Under Review
American Honda Motor Co., facing a challenging but growing U.S. light-vehicle market, is placing its $700 million U.S. creative and media accounts for the Honda and Acura brands under review.

The automaker has worked with Santa Monica, Calif.-based RPA on creative and U.S. media buying and planning for 26 years, and the agency will participate in the review process, Honda said today.
CivicGSiR
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Re: Honda Places US Ad Account Under Review    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-06-2012 08:20
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About time.

Honda marketing while nice and all, seems to underwhelm.
CB77
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Re: Honda Places US Ad Account Under Review    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-06-2012 10:05
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I recall going through this same scenario in Honda’s Motorcycle Division in the late ‘70s, when we dropped Grey Advertising after being with them for 20 years. Japanese management at Honda is very reluctant to make such changes, and frequently they wait too long to make them.

I’m sure that part of their resistance to dropping Grey was out of respect and appreciation for Grey’s “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda” campaign…which almost singlehandedly launched Honda in the U.S. market. There quite possibly would not even be a Honda Motor Company in existence today, if that campaign had failed…so I can understand Japan’s reluctance to change agencies. But, Grey had grown complacent and stale (and, our dealers were about to revolt, over the poor ads they were turning out)…it was time to move on.

Based on that experience, I view this as a very positive development…but Honda’s advertising is only part of the problem, they still need a lot of work on both product lines.


DCR
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Re: Honda Places US Ad Account Under Review    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-06-2012 10:11
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Put some of that $700 million under the hood where it belongs and problems will slowly start to solve themselves.
TurkMan71
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Re: Honda Places US Ad Account Under Review    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-06-2012 14:59
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CB77 wrote:

But, Grey had grown complacent and stale (and, our dealers were about to revolt, over the poor ads they were turning out)…it was time to move on.

Based on that experience, I view this as a very positive development…but Honda’s advertising is only part of the problem, they still need a lot of work on both product lines.





I use to work at RPA, Honda's ad agency, in the mid-90's and it was a great, youthful, energized agency back then.

I'm not sure how it is now but I agree with you that Honda has made their job more difficult. Whereas in the past, Hondas pretty much sold themselves (quiet, clever ads did their part too and I'm still a big fan of RPA work in the 80's and 90's), Honda and Acura became mainstream and mediocre recently so that would be a hard sell for anybody.

I don't think RPA will be going anywhere — the relationship and trust between both companies and their associates is very strong. But I do see this as a gentle nudge telling RPA to step it up...

I personally thought the NSX Superbowl ad was silly and I only really got excited when they showed the car revving in the last few seconds of the commercial. Acura's other ads have been classy but forgettable luxury drivel. As for Honda, No huge disappointments, the CRV Superbowl ad was 'cute' and hit the target market rather well...but nothing extraordinary. Thankfully Mr. Opportunity is gone and the guy from Seinfeld too (funny but not quite Honda in spirit). This years holiday ads are ok (Acura's much less so), but again nothing extraordinary to separate it from the noise of all the other ads...I did think the ad for the Clarity FCX when it was introduced showed the RPA genius of old but work like that has been few and far between when now Honda is just trying to sell its wares rather then distinguishing itself from the competition.


CarPhreakD
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Re: Honda Places US Ad Account Under Review    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-07-2012 00:25
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DCR wrote:
Put some of that $700 million under the hood where it belongs and problems will slowly start to solve themselves.


Honda needs a good marketing team as well. Their cars aren't 100% the greatest right now, but they are certainly extremely competitive. I think Chrysler is the perfect example of how many small improvements and great marketing can lead the company.
JP
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Re: Honda Places US Ad Account Under Review    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-07-2012 01:19
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CarPhreakD wrote:
DCR wrote:
Put some of that $700 million under the hood where it belongs and problems will slowly start to solve themselves.


Honda needs a good marketing team as well. Their cars aren't 100% the greatest right now, but they are certainly extremely competitive. I think Chrysler is the perfect example of how many small improvements and great marketing can lead the company.



My sense is that Honda has good cars to compete or exceeds the other companies' cars and after this campaign will definitely sell more.

In the other hand Acura may compete or exceed in reliability... but does not exceeds BMW/MB/Audi in so many aspects, like fancy powertrain options, etc. So it might be wasted money...
TonyEX
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Re: Honda Places US Ad Account Under Review    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-07-2012 14:41
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TurkMan71 wrote:
[I...Thankfully Mr. Opportunity is gone and the guy from Seinfeld too (funny but not quite Honda in spirit). This years holiday ads are ok (Acura's much less so), but again nothing extraordinary to separate it from the noise of all the other ads...I did think the ad for the Clarity FCX when it was introduced showed the RPA genius of old but work like that has been few and far between when now Honda is just trying to sell its wares rather then distinguishing itself from the competition.





(1) The Soup Nazi would be fun as a Honda Salesman.

"No! You can not eat my Soup in that Honda! It's too nice, look at that interior, those features... you'll spill it and make a mess! Go eat it in that car "[point to competition]

(2) They ought to show the Clarity powering a moonshine still and later running away from the revenuers... sort of like what the Old Boys in the 21st century:

"Just 'cause you have to be green, it don't mean you have to be borin'"

Make it so that 'green' and 'borin' " rhyme..


CB77
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Re: Honda Places US Ad Account Under Review    (Score: 1, Normal) 12-11-2012 11:01
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(I recently had an email exchange with one of my friends in AHM's M/C advertising dept. He had the following comments (listed below) on this situation. Sounds like this review could just be a shot across the bow, to shake RPA up a little bit. In RPA's defense, I'm not sure they are getting very good direction from AHM, as to what kind of advertising they are being asked to do. If AHM can't even clearly define their product line (especially with Acura) how can they define their advertising message?)

"I think RPA did fabulous work for them for years but the quality is not there now. Behind every poor ad is a client approval and often times behind-the-scenes directives --occasionally by foreigners and often by management who has no knowledge of how advertising works.

Funny, entertaining ads don't always sell product. Any agency can do good creative work but they have to be given good input and managed. Too many years of weak client management and poor direction can cause enough bad blood on both sides that a change is needed. I don't know if that's the case here but suspect it could be given what I've heard and seen from agency insiders on both car accounts. Just doing a review can sometimes improve things. AHM motorcycle went through a full review last year--narrowed it down to four agencies and then dropped it with no reason given. I was in contact with one of the agencies and they were really mad about the wasted time and money. Including incumbents in the review is well debated."

 
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