Honda shows off ‘wild child alter-ego’ with interactive campaign

Honda is hoping to appeal to both safety-conscious drivers and those looking for a high performance model with an interactive campaign that aims to show off the “wild” side of the brand while reminding consumers of its reputation for safety and reliability.

The film, which launches today (30 October), introduces the new Civic Type R, which the car marque claims is its most extreme and high-performing model. It is pitched as the “wild child” alter-ego of its Civic hatchback, which customers trust for its engineering, technology and reliability.

Created by Wieden+Kennedy, the “Other Side” campaign uses a dual-narrative to tell both sides of the Honda brand’s story. The daytime story, based around the Civic, shows a father picking up his daughter from school and driving her to a surprise party.

The night-time story, by contrast, shows the father’s other side as an undercover cop driving art thieves to a police sting.

TV ads will act as a teaser to the online video, which opens with the daytime version of the ad. However, if viewers push the “R” button on their keyboard the video will switch to the night-time version.

The campaign aims to remind consumers of the other side of the Honda brand and its heritage in racing and innovation. The car marque will provide engines to the McLaren F1 team next year and is set to relaunch its NSX supercar in 2016, a model that will be pitched as a rival to Ferraris.

That comes ahead of a wider revamp of the Honda line-up aimed at boosting sales. In the UK the car marque’s sales have fallen by more than 3% so far this year, compared to a 9% increase in the wider market.

Martin Moll, Honda Europe’s head of marketing, says: “This campaign marks a
very significant time for our brand. The Civic Type R is one of four new car launches for Honda in 2015 and provides a powerful halo-effect for the marque. Just as our products are renowned for being innovative, our communications style will amplify this. By way of example, we are not aware of anyone else creating interactive user content in the same dramatic way, which should give it a very strong appeal.”

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  • Cortney 31 Oct 2014 at 3:39 am

    The new ad campaign by Honda showcases the new Civic Type R. This
    advertisement is not only a quality advertisement but it incredibly unique.
    Since the ad is interactive, consumers are more likely to remember it and want
    to watch it multiple times in order to get the full story (which is something I
    definitely did). Like the article states, there is no other known interactive
    advertisements currently out, and not for the automotive industry.

    Furthermore, because the commercial shows two sides, it allows consumers
    to see the product in multiple perspectives and uses. Having the day versus
    night image, the brand extends to more markets as well. This is such a good
    move on the part of Honda because it is getting back to its original roots of
    racing and getting away from that basic image that people associate the civic

    The two sides are great as well just with their individual
    stories, each providing an intricate concrete one, which also plays on emotions.
    For the day time, it is more relatable to consumers and will touch the hearts
    of parents and families in particular. For the night, it can excite any
    consumer and would potentially get more attention from younger thrill seekers,
    therefore transforming the image from the fuel economic civic that the teenager
    is usually driving for their first car. Overall, this advertisement is very
    well done both on a personal note as well as effectiveness from a marketing

  • Jenan Bala 4 Nov 2014 at 8:58 pm

    I remember an older campaign about Honda’s racing heritage “If Honda does not race, there is no Honda”.
    They then decided to withdraw from Formula 1 (even though their developed car that went unbranded completely dominated the next season).

    Now they return to Formula 1, a mainly European market with bigger commitments and have begun to ramp up their racing profile in the consumer market with the new Type R Civic and an NSX project aiming to compete with Ferrari.

    It looks like they want Europe and in two years, they might just take it.

  • Nicole Pavone 11 Nov 2014 at 6:48 am

    I found this to be a very intriguing advertisement, and I feel that Honda had introduced a different side of their brand to the market that will ultimately help them capture a greater segment of the market as well as capture interest with this exciting ad. When first reading this article I second-guessed whether the target audience of Honda would be receptive to a more wild, fast paced, racing vehicle when Honda’s are known for reliability and safety. However, after watching the ad it was clear that the car can provide different benefits to different consumers all while remaining true to the Honda brand.

    Additionally, I found that the interactive aspect of the ad was very intriguing, and allowed the viewer to resonate with each side of the Honda Civic. When watching the ad and toggling back and forth between the more safe and traditional Honda Civic ad, and the fast paced “Wild Side” of Honda, the consumer can feel better associated with the brand by associating with either aspect of Honda. This ultimately benefits Honda as a whole, because it now takes widens the target audience, bringing in consumers that appreciate the more risky, wild, fast paced, racing aspects of a car. Honda is doing this in attempt to compete with sport cars and break away from the sense that Honda only makes cars for safety and reliability. Overall, I feel that this is a very good advertisement, and it will be interesting to see where the launch of this car as well as the additional changes Honda will make in this upcoming year.

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