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New IMA TV-advertisement in the UK
 Date: July 08, 2003 13:23
 Submitted by:  danielgr
 Source: Honda UK
 Credibility Rating: N/A

Well, here's the press release talking about the new ad, but if you just want to see it, click on one of the links below:

Dowload (mpeg version - medium quality)

Honda web site with several quality options (flash)

Save energy, save power, save fuel

A television set switching itself off while a man falls asleep is an unusual way to advertise a car brand. Honda's new advertisement - which breaks on Friday 20 June - also features a tap turning itself off after a man has finished brushing his teeth and lights which turn on as a train arrives at a platform.

Yes, the sequel to the Honda Accord 'Cog' advertisement is just as intriguing as the ad showing parts of a car knocking into each other. Once again, Honda and its advertising gency Wieden + Kennedy have chosen to do things differently.

The everyday scenes featured in the new advertisement demonstrate intelligent use of energy, but there is no obvious car connection. Or is there?

The new advertisement is designed to show the benefits of Honda's new Integrated Motor Assist system fitted to the Civic. The IMA system also uses energy intelligently, switching off the petrol engine when not required and
using electric energy to enable it to operate more efficiently (achieving almost 60 mpg with supremely low exhaust emissions).

The challenge was to demonstrate this ground breaking technology, but in a way which did not baffle the public with scientific facts and figures. Similarly Honda was well aware that it did not want to come across as too 'worthy' in its
advertising, even though IMA technology is potentially a great benefit to society as a whole. The challenge was to intrigue people with a new kind of power source, and get them to question why and how we currently use energy.

Matt Coombe, Marketing Communications Manager of Honda UK explains, "The whole aim of the ad is to show what we have termed 'sympathetic power', or power serving people. It is about energy saving and future technology and the ultimate aim of the commercial is to get people to feel differently about the Honda brand. Actually it is a very different kind of commercial from the previous one.
Instead of featuring the product or parts of the car, this ad is all about the Honda brand, and how the company has created this important new technology.

"Ultimately we want people to consider IMA in the same way they might consider Dolby when buying a stereo, or 'Intel inside' when purchasing a PC," he adds.

The 60 second commercial will break on Friday 20 June with a slot during A Touch of Frost (22.10 LWT). Thereafter it will appear extensively on independent television channels during the next six weeks. It will be accompanied by a 30 second shorter ad for a period of two months before a press campaign launches in August explaining IMA in more detail.

The ad was directed by Peter Thwaites at Gorgeous - and art directed and written by Kim Papworth and Tony Davidson.

Editor's notes

About the Civic IMA
The Civic 4 door SE Executive powered by IMA was launched in May 2003 as a regular part of the Honda Civic range. This petrol electric model offers increased operating efficiency and reduced environmental impact, with a personal
tax liability benefit for company car drivers - as well as a 100% discount from the London Congestion Charge. The car has an on the road price of £15,000, but purchasers are eligible for a £1000 grant during 2003 under the government
funded Powershift scheme.

Honda (UK) plans to sell 500 Civic IMAs this year, ramping up to 1500 next year. The Civic IMA (marketed as the Civic Hybrid in the States) recently became
the first-ever hybrid vehicle to earn certification as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) from California's Air Resources Board (CARB), adding to a long list of Honda firsts in environmental technology

How it works
IMA stands for Integrated Motor Assist. For the Civic the system comprises a 1.4 litre petrol engine teamed with a powerful electric motor/generator sandwiched between the engine and gearbox. The main battery is maintenance free
and located in the boot behind the rear seat.

The electric motor boosts engine power during acceleration or hill climbing, enabling the car to perform like a bigger engined model. The motor acts as a generator when braking or descending hills - the idea being to store energy
released during braking, to be re-used during later acceleration. So instead of energy being lost in the form of heat when the car's brakes are applied, the energy is stored as electrical energy in the battery.

The self-charging nature of the IMA system means that the car never has to be 'plugged in' to an electricity supply, furthermore the electronic control system assures that there is no risk of the main battery becoming completely

Cleverly the IMA system also acts as an engine-starter, and keeps the car's normal 12V battery fully charged. Because the electric motor only provides 'assistance' to the petrol engine, only a very small battery is required -
resulting in virtually no loss of boot space. It does however mean that the Civic cannot be driven on battery power alone - both petrol and electric engines always work together.

As well as offering exceptional fuel consumption, IMA offers very low emissions levels and excellent driveability and performance. The system is destined to become a major feature of Honda's car range in the UK with other applications currently in the planning stage.

Last edited by Tuan on July 08, 2003 22:54

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