Honda’s new range of 2012 Civics, one of its most important cars globally, has met with a bit of a yawn here in North America, despite some great advertising. All of Honda’s high-level engineering is there, yet the car hasn’t knocked any homeruns in any comparison tests. We’ve gotten so used to Honda raising the bar in this segment, and it doesn't appear it has this time.
What’s worse is that my favorite Civic in the Honda lineup, the Si, seems to have been conservatively updated, despite a high-torque, 2.4-liter, 201-hp engine and all the handling goodies Honda could pack in there. Oddly, I haven’t seen too many of the new Si around where I live, and that car is the barometer for aftermarket mayhem and drag races.
So how does Honda rectify this situation? Great advertising to whet the target market’s appetite.
I stumbled across a great new ad for the Honda Civic posted last week and was blown away by just how much fun it is to watch. It’s a great use of the Web for making an ad that would be too short and far less engaging on TV. Using high-tempo techno music, great animation with an almost comic book-like mix of grays and intermittent Fauvist bursts of color, and a storyline that one could describe as Mad Max plus Death Race 2000 with a hint of Escape from L.A., Honda has produced an action-packed David vs. Goliath race against monster trucks and various hi-po machines.
What makes it even better is that the creators did a great job of integrating the wealth of features on the Si into the storyline in a way that doesn’t seem too tacked on. It all comes together in a swirling chaos of adrenaline, ruled by the comparatively diminutive, yet balanced and feature-laden Civic Si. I also think it’s produced perfectly to hit the target buyers of this car, young males who love video games, Anime and general mayhem.
This is a fun ad to watch. Enjoy it and tell me if you don’t agree this is one of Honda’s better efforts of late, then take a look at our editors showing off the Civic Si at the 2011 New York Auto Show.