To convince consumers that American Honda Motor Co. Inc.'s CR-V could compete in the crowded sport-utility market, Paul Sellers positioned it as a fun outdoor vehicle, rather than a rugged truck.
'We wanted to try to appeal to men and/or the masculine side of women to help fuel the side of a brand that hadn't been considered before,' said Sellers, 46, former national ad manager at Honda, who moved to sports marketer at Intersport in Los Angeles as vice president and director of sales and marketing in March.
Santa Monica, Calif.-based agency Rubin Postaer & Associates highlighted the 'fun and youthful aspect' of the CR-V.
Honda has spent between $10 million and $20 million on media for the sport-utility each year, Sellers said. Honda sold 51,000 CR-Vs in 1997 and 92,000 in 1998, and it expects 1999 figures to reach 97,000.
Said Sellers: 'Consumers wanted a car that had functionality' at an affordable price.