W&K unveils first work in Honda's rebranding

Honda UK has unveiled a £10 million branding drive that includes a launch campaign for the Jazz, which marks its entry into the supermini sector.

The rebranding is designed to confront preconceptions about Honda by talking not only about the things that Honda makes, but its approach to making them. The ads incorporate everything from cars to lawnmowers to robots.

The work is the first from Wieden & Kennedy London since it won the £24 million account last year from CDP.

Amy Smith, the managing director of W&K, said: "Honda has an unparalleled heritage and extraordinary vision. In expressing this, we've created advertising that's radically different from anything else in this category. For the first time, people will get to see what Honda's really about."

Chris Brown, the customer communications manager at Honda, added: "Honda has yet to achieve its potential in the UK - we needed W&K to give us a voice and a face and that's exactly what it has done."

Honda's marketing strategy means that it has decided to run three campaigns simultaneously that break on 5 April.

The first - an animated 60-second launch spot - aims to communicate Honda's company philosophy and attitude and explains the meaning behind its new strapline: "The Power of Dreams.

This is supported by a press campaign featuring 12 different executions in the national, lifestyle and specialist press.

The spot uses the computer animations of the Japanese director Satoshi Tomioka, and features a factory tirelessly producing the word "OK".

The narrative continues, and asserts that: "Not everybody believes OK is OK. We don't.

The spot was written by Richard Russell and art directed by Tony Davidson, Russell and Kim Papworth.

The second campaign is the launch of the CR-V - Honda's four-wheel-drive vehicle. Unlike other brands in this category, the 60-second TV spot and three press ads focus on day-to-day urban use and parody 4X4 car ads.

Honda has positioned the Jazz as a small, smart, practical car, ideal for the more optimistic driver who has an active social life. It questions the way people drive, and asks them to reassess their attitudes in an age of road-rage and other anti-social behaviour. Three 30-second spots have been created to launch the car, backed by three press executions.

The launch of the Jazz sees Honda enter into the supermini market dominated by the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa. The supermini market is the fastest growing sector of the past four years, and is highly competitive. It accounts for 31.5 per cent of UK car sales.

Media planning and buying is being handled through CDP Media.

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