Honda Accord campaign targets Hispanics, blacks
LOS ANGELES -- Honda's huge marketing launch for the redesigned 2013 Accord will include pitches aimed at Hispanic and black consumers.
"We're trying to connect in a cultural context," said Gina Jorge, Honda assistant manager of multicultural marketing.
It's a big responsibility for Honda. The Civic and Accord are traditionally among the three best-selling vehicles among Hispanic, black and Asian buyers.
The mass-market Accord commercial describes the trials and tribulations of people's daily lives. But the Hispanic version carries a message of striving to succeed in America.
The cinematography and feel complement the mainstream Accord commercials. The Hispanic spot shows two successful men -- one mature, one early in his career -- starting the day and going to work. They drive Accords and eventually arrive at the same workplace -- a father-and-son architectural firm.
Behind the scenes
While the commercial's subtitles carry the mass-market tag line "It starts with you," the literal translation of the spoken tag line --"Pensado en ti" -- means "Made with you in mind."
Jorge says "It starts with you" wouldn't carry the same turn-of-phrase wit in Spanish as it does in English.
Honda debuted the subtitled commercial during the American Latino Media Arts Awards -- the Almas -- that aired on NBC instead of its usual Telemundo coverage. But Telemundo's Web site will carry behind-the-scenes footage, sponsored by Honda. Honda also will sponsor "Mira Quien Baila," the Hispanic version of "Dancing with the Stars," on Univision.
Radio commercials feature musician Jose Feliciano describing the features and benefits of the car. Because Feliciano is blind, he describes how it feels when his wife drives, as well as the Accord's available Pandora Internet radio.
Parents as superheroes
The TV spot for black consumers veers from the Accord's mainstream commercials. In it, children describe their parents in over-the-top terms: "My dad is like a ninja"; "It's like she has eyes in the back of her head."
In each instance, the scene shifts to inside the car and demonstrates how features such as lane-departure warning and rearview cameras had enabled the parents to appear as superheroes to their children.
Honda will continue to sponsor Battle of the Bands, a competition among marching bands from historically black colleges. It also is sponsoring two key football "classics" between black colleges, including events at the tailgate parties featuring Honda generators. And Honda will launch a social media platform with activities and cultural connections for black consumers.
Noting Honda's 20-plus years working with Hispanic agency Orci and African-American agency Muse, Jorge said: "We're not new to this party."
One omission: an Asian campaign. For budgetary reasons, Honda is giving Asian-specific marketing a pass on the Accord launch but will include it in the 2013 media plan, Jorge said. Besides, the use of Asian actors, as well as Asian-weighted media buys, are more prevalent with the mainstream commercials.
Honda also is playing to the diversity market with its sponsorship of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., as well as the Brooklyn Nets team of the National Basketball Association. Jorge said Brooklyn is highly diverse, with a population that is 32 percent black, 20 percent Hispanic and 10 percent Asian.
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