Honda Pushing Green in Super Bowl

Honda will run three TV ads during the Super Bowl on February 4, to tout its fuel efficiency.


The carmaker is buying a total of one minute of airtime, which should cost it about $5.2 million.


Honda will run two ads for the Element SUV, which the company feels is the right vehicle for the venue. They will be two 15-second ads from the “Gil, The Crab” campaign the company has been running. The 30-second ad will tout Honda as the most fuel-efficient brand inAmerica , which it can claim because its CAFE average rating is higher than rival Toyota .


That perception of Toyota as a more fuel efficient brand than Toyota — driven mostly by the success and awareness of the Prius hybrid — irks Honda executives. Too, recent surveys show that even though gas prices have fallen back to as low as $2 per gallon in some parts of the country, many younger consumers are increasingly making purchase choices based on fuel efficiency for reasons of conscience and the belief that gas prices will rise again above $3 per gallon.


General Motors is the only other car company so far that has said it is advertising in the big game. Chevrolet is running an ad from a winning student creative team after several weeks of weeding through entries. And GM is also running a 60-second ad touting a flock of its new designs and its warranty coverage and quality.


“The Super Bowl remains one of the best opportunities to reach a wide television audience in one shot,” said John Mendel, senior vice president of American Honda. “Many Super Bowl viewers look forward to the commercials almost as much as the game, and Honda has taken this great opportunity to highlight a couple of its key brand values through fun and creative ads.”


The three separate advertisements will run during the fourth quarter of the game. Two fifteen-second spots featuring the Honda Element as part of the popular “Crab” campaign will highlight Honda’s fun image, and a thirty-second spot called “Slalom” will reinforce Honda’s fuel-efficiency leadership.

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