Honda Civic launches "to each their own campaign", starring a Champion Luchador, a Ninja, a Zombie, a Monster....

A fully integrated national advertising campaign for the launch of the all-new Honda Civic began April 20. The strategy developed by Honda's long-standing agency of record, RPA, demonstrates the idea that we're all different and there's a unique Civic for each of us. Since the target personalizes everything in their lives from social media to fashion, the all-new Civic is positioned to be the latest canvas for personalization.

The print ads will be featured in publications such as Elle, ESPN the Magazine, Maxim, PARADE, People, Rolling Stone, Time and Wired. The creative features all five characters from the TV creative.

Out-of-home amplifies the Civic campaign messaging with in-theater buy placement of "Apartment," outdoor bulletins in more than 25 top markets, wild postings in the top 18 markets and the Civic video creative will be featured on the Disney Times Square digital billboard during the month of May.

To bring attention to the variety of different Civic models and the idea of "To Each Their Own," the campaign features five distinct characters. Each represents a different model and shows that there's a Civic right for each person, no matter who-or what-you are:

* Cesar, the Champion Luchador, is somewhat of a celebrity. He's handsome, charming and a bit vain so he, of course, appreciates the Civic Coupe's sleek lines.
* The Monster, Teeny, is a bubbly and studious college coed. Her practical nature and frugal budget align with the fuel-efficient HF model.

* The Urban Woodsman, Jack, lives in the city but is at home in the woods. He likes his Hybrid for its great fuel efficiency, which comes in handy on his many trips to the great outdoors.

* The Ninja, Aiko, is cute, innocent and deadly. A martial-arts phenom who's partial to red licorice and arcade games, she pairs well with the high-energy performance of the Si model.

* The Zombie, Mitch, is a salesman who's into high-tech gadgets. His Civic Sedan is loaded with options like Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and navigation system with FM Traffic.

"The Civic gets credit for being established, trusted, well-known and reliable. The challenge with this campaign is to get Gen Y to give Civic credit for being inventive and cool. To turn some of these perceptions into thinking of Civic as well-designed, trendy and technologically advanced," said Tom Peyton, senior manager, national advertising, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

"We want to talk directly with our target by tapping into their appreciation for 'collective individualism'-addressing the diversity of Civic drivers while also engaging them around their common interests. The five different characters keep it entertaining and set the campaign apart. But, just as importantly, reveal that there's a Civic out there for everyone," said Joe Baratelli, EVP, ECD at RPA.

Four ("Apartment," "Woodsman," "Zombie," "Ninja") of five new Civic spots began airing on network April 20. "Monster" will debut on May 5.

Music plays a prominent role in each spot. The spots feature several breakthrough artists, including: Snake and Jet's Amazing Bullit Band, McChris, Barry Louis Polisar, The Virgins and Oh Land.

Honda Civic spots will air during the premieres or season finales of highly rated programming including Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, NCIS, Vampire Diaries, Bones, Fringe, Chuck, Nikita, The Bachelorette and So You Think You Can Dance. In addition, spots will air during the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs and finals, NBA playoffs and finals and on full-episode players on network websites and Hulu. As part of NBC's "Green Week," a custom co-branded 60-second Civic vignette will feature an original song written and performed by The Roots (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon's backup band).

Read more:

about the author

TRUST TRUST is a communications company specializing in partnerships with agencies, tech cos, startups, content studios and other small to mid-sized brands.

Comments (5)

  • mossback's picture
    mossback (not verified)

    Isn't it enough to wade through illiterate forum posts without seeing ungrammatical phrases in blaring ads? Hey Honda, maybe "to each their own" is acceptable in Japanese, but not in English

    May 18, 2011
  • cromudgeon's picture
    cromudgeon (not verified)

    A commercial for the ages - the ages 9 to 14. Great car, but what an incredibly misguided commercial. If you want to sell cars, suggest you try targeting folks with money. This advertising campaign is a waste of advertising dollars.

    Jun 05, 2011
  • HollowayHouse's picture
    HollowayHouse (not verified)

    Though I am a copy editor by profession, I believe I can say I speak for all educated people who respect the English language when I say... FIRE the ad agency that led the client down such an ill-conceived campaign.

    Honda invested its money and its faith in an agency that squandered both. Grammatical errors in body copy are one thing (all to common, and often overlooked), but to have such a glaring error in the main headline of a campaign is unforgivable. Honda should get its money back, then fire the agency that created the campaign. And the agency should fire the writer and editor (and creative director) that let the concept be presented to the client in the first place. Embarrassing to say the least.

    Poor form, guys. We all deserve better.

    Jun 16, 2011
  • Dabitch's picture

    I'lll just put this here.

    A rose must remain with the sun and the rain
    Or its lovely promise won't come true
    To each his own, to each his own
    And my own is you

    What good is a song if the words just don't belong?
    And a dream must be a dream for two
    No good alone, to each his own
    For me there's you

    If a flame is to grow there must be a glow
    To open each door there's a key
    I need you, I know, I can't let you go
    Your touch means too much to me

    Two lips must insist on two more to be kissed
    Or they'll never know what love can do
    To each his own, I've found my own
    One and only you

    Jun 16, 2011
  • Not a Whiney Bitch's picture
    Not a Whiney Bitch (not verified)

    I would like to say that I absolutely love these commercials, and Honda doesn't need a sophisticated flash campaign about how great it is because people already have a lot of trust in the brand. They are good cars, and they're attracting young people like me and putting something fun to watch on the air. You people obviously haven't seen what a buzz these guys have made.

    Aug 12, 2011

Leave a comment