Honda’s TV event helped viewers fall in love with the brand again

  • Honda wanted to restore brand love and desirability
  • They launched new creative with a TV event
  • As a result, they increased purchase consideration by 10%


Honda UK had been facing a tough few years with the global recession, the Japanese tsunami and the squeezed UK car market. On top of this, their marketing budget had been reduced but their sales targets were as exacting as ever.

The brand has a history of innovative advertising and plenty of brand love. Research showed that people remembered Honda as a brand with a strong history of memorable advertising, citing examples such as “Cog”, “The impossible dream” and “Skydive”. However, there was also a feeling that Honda had ‘disappeared’ and so it was important to create a sense that Honda was ‘back’ and creating innovative experiences for people again.

The challenge in 2013 was to remind people what they loved about Honda and to engage as many people as possible but on an extremely limited budget. Specific objectives were to increase purchase consideration by 5% and to increase brand desirability by 10%

The Solution

Honda had been sponsoring documentaries on Channel 4 and this had been going well. Working with their agencies Starcom Mediavest and Wieden & Kennedy, they decided to use the partnership with Channel 4 to recharge the brand.

They took the creative idea for the sponsorship bumpers and repurposed it into new content of varying lengths.

For the launch of the new creative, they created a two minute execution and secured presence on Channel 4 in the first ad break of their new Sunday night drama, Southcliffe on 4th August 2013. This was to be the premiere of their new work and so they worked hard to ensure that as many people knew about it as possible.

They produced 10 second teaser ads that used the hashtag #HondaHands to encourage the audience to go on Twitter and ask what the Honda advertising premiere might be. These teaser spots were placed around key Channel 4 programming such as Rude Tube, 24 Hours in A&E, The Big Bang Theory and films.

There was also activity with national press, digital outdoor, online and radio to further build the sense of anticipation around the two minute ad. 

Once launched, viewers were then able to access further content online on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.

The two minute ad also ran on cinema for a period of 5 weeks around the film Rush


  • Over 2 million people saw the two minute advert on TV and more than 660,000 engaged with the content on YouTube
  • They created significant levels of search volumes
  • Purchase consideration was increased by 10% - double the target set
  • Brand desirability also increased by 10% - achieving the objective

Getting Honda’s Hands on TV really gave the campaign impact – it pushed a purely digital campaign into the kind of territory we had with Cog and the live ads. Working closely in partnership with Starcom and C4 was the only way that we could have got the campaign away within budget and the teasers that we ran as part of the campaign really made the launch feel special. Our expectations were quite high as we’d lived with the great content for a while already but the buzz we got from the break and the increase in views online met all of them.

Kate Barrett, Car Marketing Communications Manager, Honda


Sector: Motors 

Brand: Honda

Campaign objectives: To increase purchase consideration and brand desirability  

Target Audience:  ABC1 Adults

Budget: approx. £120,000

Campaign Dates: The teaser campaign ran from 1st to 4th August with the launch spot on 4th August at 9.12pm  2013

TV Usage: 10 second teaser spots, 120 second launch spot 

Creative Agency: Wieden & Kennedy

Media Agency: Starcom Mediavest

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