Honda Division is in the middle of a three-part marketing and advertising campaign to tout its redesigned Odyssey.
The current phase of the campaign included a 30-second TV commercial during last month's Super Bowl. Print ads, a dealer merchandising package and an Internet sweepstakes were tied to the football game.
The Odyssey's print ad campaign includes placements in Time, Business Week and Reader's Digest.
In the first phase, January 1998 through October, Honda mounted a prelaunch direct-mail campaign to identify potential Odyssey buyers. The message was that the Odyssey is a true minivan for the family.
Joan Egan, account supervisor at Rubin Postaer and Associates, Honda's advertising agency, said Odyssey ads convey that 'it's a big happy minivan.'
The scene of the TV commercials is a conference room in which lawyers representing each member of a family wrangle over what equipment the Odyssey should have. The message is that the Odyssey has something for everybody.
Egan said the third phase of the Odyssey's advertising campaign will begin at the end of this month and will include commercials on popular TV shows such as 'Ally McBeal,' 'ER' and 'Frasier.'
Honda will spend $50 million to advertise and market its all-new minivan during the 1999 model year.
'The original Odyssey was too small, underpowered and priced too high,' said Paul Sellers, manager of Honda Division advertising.
The base price of a 1998 Odyssey was $24,615; the 1999 model is $23,615. Prices include freight.
Sellers said the integrated marketing campaign is a long-term venture to raise the Odyssey's brand awareness and ultimately boost sales.
The Odyssey's sales target is 60,000 this year. It debuted last October, and Sellers said there is a three-month backlog of orders.
By the middle of next year, Honda expects the Odyssey's Alliston, Ontario, assembly plant to reach its capacity of 120,000 units annually.