Honda to run musical ad to launch CR-V; client: ‘we were sad to see DraftFCB close’

Honda is to launch an ad campaign for its CR-V at the end of next week.

The new 4×4 goes on sale in November.

The campaign marks the first work for the Japanese carmaker by Leo Burnett Melbourne, which won the business after a live pitch in August.

The company hopes the campaign will lift vehicle sales from 600-700 per month to over 1000 per month, senior marketing manager Kevin Lillie told Mumbrella. He would not give details on media spend.

Honda’s sales have been limited this year, with the tsunami in Japan and flooding in Thailand, where its vehicles are manufactured, hampering supply.

True to Honda’s advertising in the past, the ads will contain a musical theme, Lillie said, but will not use animation.

Famous Honda advertising used in other markets, such as ‘Hate something, change something’ by Wieden + Kennedy London, was the inspiration for Honda Australia’s animated ‘What if?’ campaign from 2010, which featured a voice over from Stephen Fry.

“We have moved away from animation as our advertising has evolved,” said Lillie.  “A real car in a real environment is more appropriate for our dealer stakeholders.”

Lillie said he was “very sad” to hear of the closure of Honda Australia’s former ad agency DraftFCB Melbourne, which came as a result of the shift of the account to Leo Burnett. 

“Draft helped us shift from an individual nameplate strategy to a masterbrand strategy, and they did some great work with us over the years,” said Lillie. “But we wanted to see what else was out there.”

“We were very sad to see Draft Melbourne close. Fortunately, some of their staff have found roles at Leo Burnett and other agencies, and we will be supporting them with references and will help where we can,” he said.

DraftFCB Melbourne’s former executive creative director Mat Garbutt is currently freelancing at former agency Grey Melbourne.

On the campaign for the CR-V, Lillie added: “This is a huge launch for us. For Honda as a company and a brand, it’s a big opportunity – we are launching in the fastest growing segment in the market.”


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