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Emotional ads fuel Honda's brand

News, 10 February 2016
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NEW YORK: Honda, the automaker, believes that emotional advertising can serve as a competitive differentiator for its brand in an increasingly crowded category.

Tom Peyton, the Associate Vice President/Advertising at American Honda Motor Co., discussed this subject at Advertising Week 2015.

More specifically, he argued Honda's vehicles are well-regarded by automotive experts and customers alike – but that marketing based on technical details was not likely to make a major impression.

"It boils down to emotion," he said. (For more details, including examples of the brand's creative, read Warc's exclusive report: Why emotion now drives Honda's advertising strategy.)

"It's critical to create differentiation based on the intangible. And that's why we think emotion is really one of the new big plays in the digital world.

"The core beliefs of Honda are a true point of differentiation. In other words: we feel our [main] asset is our philosophy."

And this long-standing philosophy centres around "The Power of Dreams", which positions Honda as a courageous, forward-thinking, optimistic and innovative organisation.

"We're known for being dependable and reliable. At the end of the day, we also want to be known as an innovative and an exciting brand," said Peyton.

"Because, frankly, 'dependable' and 'reliable' worked great ten or 15 years ago. It's become just an entry card for any good auto manufacturer right now.

"If we get people sharing the beliefs we have – and [are] really trying to stand for those beliefs – it becomes clear to advocates. We think that's the success to make this brand, or any brand, in the long term."

In summing up the challenge Honda has resultantly set out for its agencies, Peyton reported that they need to ensure its philosophy is translated into impactful messaging.

"The marketing itself becomes a demonstration of Honda's thinking. It should make people's brain's tingle in positive ways. You're going to see a type and tone of advertising which is always [aiming for] a smile, it's clever, and so simple," he said.

Data sourced from Warc

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