Can the Grinch save Honda’s U.S. sales?

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Honda's year-end sales will be crucial to improving US performance. Photo credit: HONDA

American Honda hopes that a new holiday advertising campaign with the Grinch theme can restore the sales momentum of the car manufacturer until the end of the year.

After NBC & # 39; s "Today with Kathy Lee and Hoda" on Tuesday, Honda has released another 30 second place in the campaign entitled "The Grinch Returns Happy Honda Days" and with the Grinch who turns the lights on again at a Honda dealer and everything returns what he has stolen. . The once vacant dealer is then filled with Honda vehicles, bells and whistles, gifts and, yes, even donuts.

"Happy Honda Days has started again, and now it's a great" stealing "on a new Honda, so hurry up", says a voiceover on the spot. At the same time, the heart of the Grinch grows three times as big and gives Honda back his Twitter account.

Success is crucial

Honda's end-of-year sales will be crucial to boost its performance in the US as it struggles with the rapid switch from conventional sedans to crossovers and SUVs. Up to and including October, brand sales of Honda fell by 2.5 percent to 1.2 million vehicles. Sales of Acura increased by 1 percent to 128,107 vehicles.

Almost all Honda's nameplates – even the leading sellers Accord and Civic – have gone down double digits this year. The best selling American vehicle from Honda to October was the CR-V crossover, with 1.1 percent to 305,446 deliveries.

The advertising campaign called #GrinchTakeover – began in collaboration with Universal Pictures and Illumination & # 39; s. Seuss & # 39; The Grinch – during the Sunday TV programming of the automaker, including NFL matchups.

The first 30-second commercial, entitled "The Grinch steals Happy Honda Days", lets the Grinch turn off the lights of the Honda dealer and leaves them empty because he thinks the annual sales event of the automaker is too bright. The Grinch decides to cancel the event and change the banner of the dealership from Happy Honda Days & # 39; to & # 39; UNHappy Honda Days & # 39 ;.

While decorations are thrown into the elevator of the dealer, Mr. Grinch sticks his tongue out and says no to decorations, deals, donuts and the surprisingly comfortable & # 39; chairs in the dealer. In addition, he says no to discounts, sturdy handshakes, exciting test drives and cars.

Photo credit: HONDA

Breaking through clutter

Susie Rossick, assistant vice president for marketing at Honda, wrote in an e-mail that the automaker was looking for a partnership that would break the mess of traditional holiday advertising.

"The goal of the campaign is to use the co-branded & # 39; The Grinch & # 39; ad from Honda to promote the celebrity and the memorabilia of the sales event" Happy Honda Days "early in the campaign to enlarge, "Rossick said. "We want to drive traffic to our dealers' websites and showrooms."

Rossick also said that the partnership was an addition to Honda's integrated Happy Honda Days "Toys" 2.0 campaign that started this month. According to Honda, & # 39; Toys & # 39; 2.0 a sequel to the Happy Honda Days 2014 campaign of the automaker, which includes classic toys for children from the 70s, 80s and 90s as spokespersons for Honda products such as the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, CR-V, Accord, Pilot and Ridgeline.

The integrated marketing campaign is also spreading news about the Grinch acquisition through other Honda social media channels, including Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube.

"Months of planning went into creating the social content," Rossick said. "Honda worked with their advertising agency, RPA, to develop a robust social plan and was ready to respond as & # 39; The Grinch & # 39; in real time during the acquisition. & # 39;

The Snapchat media campaign for "E! News & # 39; The Rundown" runs until December 31st. Monday & # 39; s "Rundown" included an integration during the show and Rossick said that another was scheduled for Wednesday. She also said that the campaign with the Grinch ends Wednesday, but Happy Honda Days will continue with the holiday season.