Honda Civic Hybrid 2008 "Building Bridges" Campaign Book

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Last fall in my Principles of Strategic Communications class, I worked with four classmates in a mini-’agency,’ Pure Communications, to create and pitch a campaign for the 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid.

As Account Director, I was primarily responsible for creating a campaign strategy from our extensive research and for providing creative, media, and public relations directional tactics. In addition, I compiled the various sections of our integrated campaign, conducted weekly meetings, and led the final pitch.

Disclaimer: this SlideShare presentation was created as a student project for the University of Wisconsin School of Journalism. This was used for educational purposes

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Honda Civic Hybrid 2008 "Building Bridges" Campaign Book

  1. 1. 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid Campaign Pitch December 13, 2007 presented by Pure Communications “ ” building bridges purecommunications
  2. 2. Founded in September 2007, Pure Communications is a full service, fully integrated advertising agency. Our mission is to perform exhaustive analyzes of our client’s business and industry in order to create compelling strategies, high-impact creative, captivating media connections, and lively public relations events. With specialization in the automobile industry and in environmental activism, we target clients who use their corporate powers to advance the social good. We dedicate ourselves to examining challenges from all possible angles, and the result is completely integrated communications. Pure Communications is part of the Doug McLeod Group. With only five employees, we are still waiting to win our first big client. Katherine Scoptur, Account Director Amanda McGowan, Research Director MaryJo Fitzgerald, Creative Director Allie Gehan, Media Director Allison Brost, Public Relations Director Pure Communications 5115 Vilas Hall 821 University Avenue Madison, WI 53706 purecommunications
  3. 3. Executive Summary 4 Situation Analysis 6 History and Industry Trends 7 Competitive Analysis 8 Consumer Analysis 10 Brand Analysis 13 Media Usage Analysis 14 Creative Category Analysis 15 Public Opinion and Stakeholder Analysis 16 SWOT Analysis 18 Campaign Strategy 21 Campaign Objective 22 Primary Target Market 22 Secondary Target Market 23 Competitive Advantage 24 The Honda Brand 24 Campaign Tactics 25 Conclusion 26 The Creative Plan 28 Problems Facing the Honda Civic Hybrid 29 Our Solution 29 The “Building Bridges” Campaign 29 Creative Executions 30 The Media Plan 38 Media Planning 39 Media Objectives 39 Media Strategy 39 Broadcast 40 Print 41 Outdoor 42 Internet 42 Campaign Timeline 43 The Public Relations Plan 45 Public Opinion 46 Stakeholders 46 Public Relations Strategy 47 Media Relations Strategy and Target Vehicle Selection 47 Tactics: Primary Target Market 47 Tactics: Secondary Target Market 49 Conclusion 50 Appendix 57 Survey Questions 58 Focus Group Conversation Starters 60 News Clippings 61 Reference List 64 table of contents
  4. 4. 4 Honda Motor Co. is seen as one of the most reliable, dependable, and fuel-efficient automakers in the world. In 2007, Honda had the highest fuel-economy of any automobile manufacturer, and Honda publicly announced in its “2010 Vision” to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2010 for both its products and operations. Committed to addressing environmental issues through its manufacturing of automobiles, Honda first introduced the Honda Civic Hybrid in 2003 as a hybrid version of the Honda Civic sedan. The 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid accounted for only 11.8 percent of announced hybrid sales in January 2007 – August 2007, becoming the second-best seller of hybrid vehicles in the United States. The Toyota Prius accounted for 67.4 percent of these sales, becoming both the hybrid brand leader and hybrid vehicle-of-choice. Pure Communications ultimately wants to increase salience of the Honda Civic Hybrid within the hybrid auto market and within Honda’s product line. This increased salience will boost sales, eventually enabling the Civic Hybrid to replace the Prius as the hybrid vehicle-of-choice. To increase the Civic Hybrid’s salience, we will promote the car as a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle, and promote the car as a more reliable and more conventional car than the Prius. Pure Communication will satisfy these two short-term objectives with its 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid “Building Bridges” Campaign. Pure Communications will create awareness of the Civic Hybrid. and educate a primary market target of Thinkers and a secondary target market of mid-size to large-size companies through integrated creative, media, and public relations plans. As a result, we eventually will enable the Honda Civic Hybrid to replace the Toyota Prius as the hybrid vehicle-of-choice. executive summary
  5. 5. 5 bridge: something that provides a link, connection, or means of coming together.
  6. 6. situation analysis “The Civic helped us forget about how great a leap the Prius was only two years ago. And it reminded us of all you didn’t get with the Toyota: world-class handling ... and, more than anything, a design that left people knowing you were driving a new car – not an escape pod.” – Honda Civic Hybrid consumer “ ”
  7. 7. purecommunications History and Industry Trends Our Struggling Environment Research shows that the state of our environment is rapidly declining, in part due to automobiles. Generating 1/6 of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, automobiles are a major contributor of local air pollutants, such as particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides. Future long-term technologies such as hybrid vehicles are expected to achieve emissions reductions up to 80 percent of vehicles today.1 Why Hybrid Vehicles Are the Solution According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the total vehicle miles drivers traveled in the United States increased 178 percent from 1970 to 2005 and continues to rise at a rate of 2 to 3 percent per year.24 The average driver puts 40 miles per day on a car. About 34 million Americans commute nearly an hour a day driving to and from work. To combat rising emissions with increased driving, the federal government mandated new fuel-economy regulations on automakers, making 20.7 miles per gallon for trucks and 27.5 mpg for cars the corporate average fuel economies. A vehicle boasting 25 mpg rather than 20 mpg prevents 10 tons of carbon dioxide over the lifetime of the vehicle, urging automakers to look toward sources other than gasoline or diesel for fuel transportation.2 Market Share Reporter 2007 reported that in 2006, top automakers GM, owning 24.48 percent of the auto market share, Toyota, owning 14.71 percent, and Honda, owning 8.91 percent, either had hybrids in the auto market or plan to in the near future.3 The Toyota Prius was the first hybrid to perform as a conventional vehicle, while reducing pollution and increasing fuel-efficiency. Honda was the first automaker to offer three hybrid vehicle models and to sell hybrid vehicles in the United States.16, 17 Together, Toyota and Honda hold 90 percent of the hybrid market.16 Drivers have noticed this change in fuel- efficient vehicles. Sales of new hybrid cars in the United States went from nearly nothing in 1999 to 84,000 hybrid vehicles sold in 2004.4 Sales of hybrids are expected to rise as high as 35 percent in 2007. By 2011, 75 hybrid models are expected saturate the market, compared to 14 hybrid models today. California and Virginia lead the states in hybrid sales.16 Business Week reported in March 2007 that whilethe“greening”oftheautoindustryisstill young, consumers are increasingly interested in purchasing hybrid vehicles. Eighty percent of car consumers reported fuel costs were on their minds last year as gas prices reached nearly $3 a gallon for regular unleaded fuel. As a result of erratic gas prices, 57 percent of car consumers say they would consider a hybrid vehicle as their next car purchase, and 49 percent would consider a vehicle using alternative fuel sources such as E85 ethanol.5 Globally, demand for hybrid vehicles will grow 20 percent annually through 2010 due to unstable fuel prices, increased emissions regulations, and lowering hybrid vehicle costs. The United States, Western Europe, and Japan lead the way, and China is quickly catching up.6 Not So Fast … While the growth of hybrid vehicles is noticeable, these vehicles are still far from taking over the auto industry. A car dealer observes that “everyone who comes into our dealership wants to talk about hybrids. About 2 percent of those people actually buy 7purecommunications situationanalysis
  8. 8. one.”13 According to Market Share Reporter, hybrid vehicles accounted for only 1 percent of auto share market segments in 2005. JD Power and Associates predicts that by the end of 2010, hybrids will still have less than 4 percent of total auto sales.3 Competitive Analysis The Product: Honda Civic Hybrid The Honda Civic Hybrid boasts an impressive 40 mpg city driving and 45 mpg gallon highway driving. Starting at a cost of $22,600, the hybrid’s engine is what makes this car unique and environmentally friendly. Referred to as an Integrated Motor Assist system, the gasoline and battery engine both give and take. A dual and sequential ignition four-cylinder engine promotes complete combustion, boosting fuel-efficiency and reducing emissions. When the Civic Hybrid runs solely on electric power at low speeds, it emits zero emissions. The gauge on the dashboard lets the driver know when the engine is being assisted by the electric motor. The Civic Hybrid also uses regenerative breaking to recycle energy. When the driver backs off the throttle or hits the brakes, the energy that is usually wasted is instead captured in batteries located behind the rear passenger seat. The car also employs an automatic stop idle feature to save gas and cut emissions by turning off when idling. 10, 13 Competitor: Toyota Prius Honda and Toyota currently yield 90 percent of the hybrid market, but several other automakersareincreasinglyproducinghybrid models of their own. Automakers producing hybrid vehicles include Honda, Toyota and Lexus, Ford, Chevy, Mercury, Saturn, and Nissan. However, the Civic Hybrid’s top competitor is the Toyota Prius because both cars have similar dimensions and prices. The Prius accounts for 67.4 percent of announced hybrid sales from January 2007 to August 2007, selling 124,620 units. The Civic Hybrid sold 21,736 units, accounting 8 purecommunications:buildingbridgescampaign
  9. 9. for 11.8 percent of announced hybrid sales.13 The Wall Street Journal reported that Toyota and Lexus sold 18,130 hybrid units in September 2007, compared to Honda’s 2,321 units sold.7 The Prius engine automatically switches between electric and combustion, or runs on both as needed. When the car is idle, the engine shuts off, and the Prius can run on electric power alone at low speeds. Regenerative braking recharges the battery while coasting or braking.11 Consumer Reports ranked the Prius as number three in the wagon and hatchback car category in October 2007, and reported benefits of the Prius include: quality, reliability, innovation, quiet ride, gas mileage, and a rear view camera.14 Toyota recently partnered with Apple to release an iPod Integration Kit in September 2007, providing a direct link between the Prius’ car audio system and an Apple iPod. This kit costs $300.11 Despite these features, the Prius is highly criticized for its sunny cabin, unattractive styling, and unnatural, choppy braking that greatly hinders the car’s drivability.14 In a Hybrid Comparison Test, the 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid clearly gave hybrid drivers everything they felt that they missed with the 2005Toyota Prius. According to one Civic Hybrid consumer, “the Civic helped us forget about how great a leap the Prius was only two years ago. And it reminded us of all you didn’t get with the Toyota: world- class handling ... and, more than anything, a design that left people knowing you were driving a new car - not an escape pod.”15 The Civic Hybrid provides drivers with the quality values that they look for in a car: safety, reliability, and a simple yet sleek design that resembles a conventional car. Despite the Civic Hybrid’s favorable conventionality, hybrid drivers often want to make a statement with their choices to drive hybrid vehicles. These consumers want other drivers to see this statement, without having to drive an “escape pod” of a Prius. For example, Peter Kessner, a devout environmentalist, bought a Honda Civic Hybrid four years ago to show his peers that he wants to save the planet. No one noticed this statement because few could distinguish the Civic Hybrid from the Civic. Peter traded his Civic Hybrid for a Prius because “if I’m driving a hybrid, I want people to know it,” Peter said.16 Partner Brand: Honda Civic The highly successful Honda Civic greatly benefits the Honda Civic Hybrid. This top ranked compact car is the second-longest continuously running nameplate from a Japanese manufacturer. Only the Toyota Corolla has been in production longer. In 2006, Honda redesigned the Civic to give it a curvier look, but this vehicle is still the safe, reliable, and fuel-efficient car that so many consumers know.10 In October 2007, Consumer Reports ranked the Civic as good in reliability, and as excellent in depreciation and satisfaction. The Civic reflects Honda’s corporate goal to be an environmentally friendly automaker, particularly by obtaining ULEV-2 (Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) certification. The Civic is rated highly by both U.S. governmental National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, who lists the Civic as the Top 2007 Small Car in overall crash worthiness.14 The Civic Hybrid works from the Honda Civic by adding features to its identical exterior appearances, and by lowering gas mileage and fuel emissions. According to Consumer Reports, the Civic Hybrid also has an MP3 player, electric power source, 9purecommunications situationanalysis
  10. 10. continuously variable transmission, and trip computer.10 The ability to work off of and add to the already established Civic is a unique advantage for the Civic Hybrid, but the Civic Hybrid still must find a way to distinguish itself from the non-hybrid Civic. Consumer Analysis: Product Consumers, Purchasers, and Influencers The Civic Hybrid consumer is a combination of a Civic user – a person for whom the Honda Civic fits their lifestyle, transportation needs, and budget constraints – and a person who is receptive to ideas that improve the environment, such as buying a hybrid vehicle. To determine this, Pure Communications analyzed Simmons demographic, psychographic, and lifestyle data about Civic and Prius consumers. Civic Hybrid owner data was not yet available. The demographic breakdown of a potential Honda Civic Hybrid consumer is: Female.• Fifty-nine percent of Honda Civic owners and 78 percent of Prius owners. 18 to 34 years old.• Forty-eight percent of Honda Civic owners, although 78 percent of Prius owners were 35 to 44 years old. Employed.• Seventy-five percent of Honda Civic owners, although 69 percent of Prius owners are unemployed. Married or single.• Forty-nine percent of Honda Civic owners are married and 36 percent are single and have never married. Income of more than $50,000 per year.• Sixty-three percent of Honda Civic owners. Residence primarily in the West.• Thirty- four percent of Honda Civic owners and 85 percent of Prius owners.18 According to consumer psychographics, Civic and Prius consumers express similar personalities. These consumers described themselves as trustworthy, competent, and reliable, as well as kind, good-hearted, and warm-hearted. Other frequent descriptions included: passionate, open-minded, efficient and intelligent, smart, and bright. Both Civic and Prius drivers described themselves as not egocentric or self-centered, awkward or absent minded, nor tense, nervous or high strung.18 Consumers’ environmental attitudes also are important influencers in deciding to buy a hybrid vehicle. Simmons data shows that females and 18 to 34-year-olds are the most environmentally conscious consumers. Females are more likely to recycle, and this recycling increases with age. Additionally, women and older adults are most likely worry about pollution.18 Studies show that advertising to environmentallysavvygroupsoftenoverlooks the majority of consumers who are receptive to environmental messages but need a little more education. According to a study published in Automotive News, three out of five car consumers consider buying a hybrid, and five out of six car consumers cite fuel economyasacriticalelementinthisdecision. Forty-five percent of respondents would be receptive to environmental messages with a bit more information. Forty percent of respondents are indifferent to the hybrids’ environmental impacts, and 15 percent are environmental alarmists, already actively engaged in improving the environment and understand hybrids environmental roles.19 AccordingtoSeptember2006MintelReports, if consumers believe their choices and the products they buy affect the environment, 10 purecommunications:buildingbridgescampaign
  11. 11. they will change buying behavior. However, while young adults are most likely to be aware of environmental problems, they do not believe their incomes allowed them to buy “green,” including hybrids.20 Young adults perceive the Civic Hybrid as inaccessible due to initial affordability, even though consumers ultimately save on fuel economy. On the other hand, older adults who know they can afford a hybrid need more education about hybrid vehicles to change buying behavior. Primary Research Findings Through an October 2007 consumer survey, Pure Communications identified 18 to 34- year-olds, as well as 45 to 54-year-olds, as most likely to consider purchasing a hybrid vehicle. Eighteen to 34-year-olds use their cars primarily to go to school and work. They donotexpresspreferencebetweenAmerican- made and foreign-made cars but instead look for reliability, safety, size, and fuel-efficiency when purchasing a car. This group is most knowledgeable about hybrid vehicles and favors the environmental friendliness and fuel economy of the product.21 The Civic Hybrid design is secondary to fuel-efficiency for this demographic. Survey respondents described the Civic as “small, efficient, reliable, economical and classic,” while describing the Prius as “trendy, innovative, futuristic looking and ugly.” This age group also expressed a “can do” attitude towards helping the environment and is conscious of their energy uses. They do not necessarily feel that individual actions make a difference, indicating that this demographic needs another motivator or incentive to purchase a hybrid vehicle.21 Meanwhile, 45 to 54-year-olds use their cars primarily for family activities, work, and leisure. While this group primarily factors safety and reliability in car purchases, design is the predominant factor. This group can generally afford something aesthetically pleasing, leisurely, comfortable, trustworthy, and safe. These consumers buy “whatever makes most sense to me,” so communicating to this group requires addressing why the Civic Hybrid fits their lifestyles. While avoiding the perception of the Civic Hybrid as small and uncomfortable, the car can fulfill this market group’s growing concern 11purecommunications situationanalysis
  12. 12. for the environment and the belief that their individual actions make a difference. This group is at a point where they want to and can afford to buy the “latest thing,” but still want something that is reliable.21 Pure Communications supported these survey findings with a focus group. Consisting mainly of 18 to 34-year-olds, all participants agreed they would consider buying a hybrid, citing reasons such as fuel- efficiency, environmental friendliness, and contributing to the general “green trend” of today. “Problems with the environment in the future will be the same if not increasing what they are today. Hybrids are going to help,” Ariel Bradford, 22, said.22 When asked to state hybrid models they had heardof,respondentsnamedtheToyotaPrius, Honda Civic Hybrid, Ford Escape, and Lexus as brands of hybrid cars. No respondents owned a hybrid, citing affordability as the main deterrent, even though respondents overestimated the price of a Honda Civic Hybrid by almost $10,000. Participants expressed some confusion about how hybrids work, although Bradford concluded that “the older you get, you want a reliable car that works for you and your budget.”22 Companies as purchasers Aside from the individual car consumer, companies are other potential Civic Hybrid purchasers to consider. According to Automotive News, companies are increasingly choosing hybrids for company cars. In the first quarter of 2006, 26.2 percent of Priuses were purchased for “business only” or “business or personal use.” By first quarter 2007, 38.8 percent of Priuses were bought for those purposes. Hybrids make good financial sense for companies with fuel savings and provide a positive, eco-friendly image for the company. For example, Atlanta business owner Jay Colgate bought Priuses for company cars to differentiate the company. He gained 35 clients without even advertising because clients were impressed with the company’s environmental dedication.23 In April 2006, Business Week ranked Proctor & Gamble, Google, 3M, Virgin, Target, Apple, Samsung and Amazon among the world’s most innovative companies by reinventing business processes, and building new markets and ideas for creativity and growth.35 Incorporating the Civic Hybrid into its business can be an innovative step forward for a company. Additional Consumer Influencers Costs. Consumer Reports show that hybrids do not save money on fuel alone to compensate for their initial higher prices.9 The Los Angeles Times reported in 2007 that Intellichoice, a Los Angeles-based firm, found hybrid buyers still win when factoring in costs of financing, fuel, insurance, state taxes and license fees, repairs, maintenance, and depreciation. Hybrids show a better total cost of ownership over five years or 70,000 miles than non-hybrid competitors, proving that they are worth the higher short-term cost for long-term savings. Hybrids retain value better than conventional vehicles, have moderate maintenance and repair costs, and have lower fuel cost. The five-year cost of owning and operating a Civic Hybrid is $23,268, whereas the cost of owning and operating a Civic is $31,595.9 Incentives. Incentives such as tax-free purchases and free parking encourage consumers to purchase hybrid vehicles. Civic Hybrid owners are eligible for Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit tax incentives. The 2008 and 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid models are eligible for $2,100 in federal tax credit, and the 2005 model is eligible for $1,700.10 Location. A city’s size, traffic, and commute 12 purecommunications:buildingbridgescampaign
  13. 13. conditions as well environmental attitudes influence consumers’ car purchases. According to Forbes.com, California has the worst traffic jams. In Los Angeles, the average commuter is delayed 93 hours per year in traffic, and the San Francisco metro area is second place in the worst cities for commutes.37 After evaluating environmental categories such as air and water quality, transportation, designpolicy,andmore,NationalGeographic ranked cities including Portland, Seattle, Denver, New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago and Minneapolis as top “green cities” in the United States.38 Timing. According to Consumer Reports, car consumers are more likely to purchase new cars in the late summer to early fall, as the new model year begins.36 Brand Analysis: The company and its market position When asked about Honda Motor Co.’s Honda Civic Hybrid, the first statement out of Ariel Bradford’s mouth at our focus group was: “It makes sense.”22 Honda is seen as one of the most reliable, dependable, and fuel-efficient automakersintheworld. Additionally,Honda is committed to addressing environmental issues through its cars. Although Honda Motor Co. is based in Japan, Honda produces automobiles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, personal watercraft, lawn mowers and engines in 10 major U.S. plants, with two new plants currently under construction. American Honda Motor Co. is based in Torrance, Calif. Honda employs more than 25,000 employees in the United States, and 30,000 employees in North America.10 Named the Greenest Automaker in America by the Union of Concerned Scientists in 2007 for the fourth consecutive time, Honda’s automobiles emit the lowest overall smog-forming emissions and global warming emissions in the United States.10 In 2007, Honda had the highest fuel economy of any automobile manufacturer with a 22.9 mpg average of all its vehicles.6 In May 2006, Honda was the first automaker to publicly announce in its “2010 Vision” voluntary target goals for reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 2010 for both its products and operations. Honda set goals of 5 percent reduction in emissions for cars from 2005 and 10 percent reduction for motorcycles and power products from 2000. As a result, emissions at Honda auto plants declined 5 percent from 2000 to 2005. Honda wants to reduce emissions by another 5 percent for auto plants and another 20 percent for motorcycles and power plants by 2010.10 Honda also developed a plant-based fabric for its car interiors in May 2006. This “bio- fabric” offsets any CO2 emissions produced during the disposal stage of the car through the CO2 absorption that occurs during the growth stage of plants used in raw materials. This fabric was constructed from Honda’s Life Cycle Assessment concept, which strives to reduce CO2 emissions throughout the entire life cycle of the car, from production to usage to disposal. Honda established “green factories” and “green buildings” initiatives to 13purecommunications situationanalysis “ ” Honda is seen as one of the most reliable, dependable, fuel- efficient automakers in the world, and is committed to addressing environmental issues through its cars.
  14. 14. increase energy efficiency, reduce waste, and enhance recycling activities in its plants. The “green purchasing” program encourages and supports activities by more than 600 North American OEM parts suppliers to adopt green factory programs, leading all Honda facility to reduce emissions and energy use, reuse raw materials, and recycle manufacturing material, paper and plastic. Since Honda implemented these initiatives, energy use per every automobile dropped 6 percent in North America Honda manufacturing, and has zero waste to landfill plants in America.10 Brand Drawbacks The major problem Honda needs to address is customer service at its dealerships. Multiple Web sites and blogs exposed consumers reporting problems with their Honda dealers. Comments included: “I haven’t been back to talk to my Honda dealer after they tried to convince me hybrids weren’t worth the cost difference. I bought my second hybrid from Toyota as a result.”33 Honda dealerships should not discourage hybrid purchases because that contradicts the company’s culture of environmental activism. Another negative comment included a Honda dealer being unable to explain changes in gas mileage due to the consumer’s driving habits. Product education must be addressed within the company to ensure all Honda associates can educate consumers with comprehensive information about all Honda products.33 Media Usage Analysis Honda traditionally uses three main mediums to reach consumers: television, print and music. According to Simmons data, Civic drivers are more likely than the average consumer to watch television channels such as CNN, BET, Comedy Central, Food Network, ESPN, MTV, and Oxygen. Honda’s most recent commercial for the Civic Hybrid, “Trashed,” first appeared in spots on ESPN on September 21 and in spots on CBS NFL on September 23. Following the commercial’s debut, “Trashed” also appeared on E!, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, TNT, and USA. “Trashed” appeared during television shows such as The Bachelor, Big Shots, Desperate Housewives, Heroes, and Private Practice.18 New print ads for the Civic Hybrid appeared in October in magazines such as Blender, Elle, ESPN, Maxim, Rolling Stone, and US Weekly. Civic Hybrid consumers are more likely than the average consumer to read magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Cooking Light, Bon Appetit, The Economist, Glamour, GQ, and People.18 Media Usage Patterns In 2004, Americans viewed far more television per year than any other medium, watching an average 1,546 hours of television per year.28 Of all media, television reaches the broadest targetmarket. Eighty-fivepercentoftelevision households watch cable weekly, but no single cable network reaches more than 40 percent of households. Leading cable networks include TBSC at 39 percent, USA at 38.3 percent, and TNT at 38.2 percent. Three-fourths of the major networks reach over 70 percent of television households. ABC leads this reach with 75.7 percent reach, followed by CBS with 74.9 percent, NBC with 74.6 percent, and Fox with 70.1 percent. Nielson data reports that in 2007, 111.4 million households were considered 14 purecommunications:buildingbridgescampaign “ ” Honda was named the greenest automaker in America by the Union of Concerned Scientists in 2007 for the fourth consecutive time
  15. 15. “television households.”28 Survey results show that media consumers spend 265 minutes per day on average watching television. Consumers only spend 126 minutes listening to the radio, 85 minutes on the Internet, 29 minutes reading the newspaper, and 16 minutes reading magazines daily. Men spend 4 hours 31 minutes per day watching television, whereas women spend 5 hours 17 minutes per day watching television. Teens and children spend 3 hours 19 minutes per day watching television. Television viewing in households has nearly doubled since the 1950s, increasing from 4.5 to 5 hours per day in the 1950s to 8 hours 11 minutes in 2005.28 Data from a study of 59 brands proves that brands with higher percentage of magazine ads in the media mix boast higher total media effectiveness. Eighty-four percent of adults ages 18 and older read magazines. Eighty- seven percent of readers subscribe to at least one magazine, and 13 percent of readers buy single copies. The average reader spends 44 minutes reading one magazine issue.28 Creative Category Analysis The advertising firm Rubin Postaer and Associates generally provides Honda’s creative. Located in Santa Monica, Calif., RPA’s target markets traditionally include a younger population, ranging 25 to 45-year- olds. In 2005, RPA showcased a small campaign for the Civic and the Civic Hybrid. One commercial emphasized the car’s durability and side curtain airbags. The commercial aimed to show that Civic and Hybrid mixed made something even better, but when the 2006 Civic Hybrid model emerged, the advertising began to place more emphasis on the cars.31 RPA’s 2006 Honda Civic campaign featured three different Civic models, including the Civic Hybrid, in attempt to re-brand the car. Advertisements grouped the three Civic models together in order to ensure that consumers associated one Civic with the other. Taglines for this campaign included: “Even though it’s a hybrid, it’s still a Civic,” and “It has a bigger engine and it goes faster, but it’s still a Civic.” In this campaign, RPA also established the backwards “C” in Civic.31 Honda Civic Hybrid’s most recent “Reverse Your Thinking” campaign primarily targets consumers already familiar with the Civic. RPA takes what is already known about the Civic brand and asks consumers to see the Civic in a new light. Advertisements still group the three Civic models together, but now consumers associate sophistication and upper-middle class status with the Civic’s sleeker design, in addition to its reliability and conventionality. The Civic Hybrid is the “green” Civic, expanding the product to environmentally conscious consumers. The Civic XI attracts younger consumers, looking for speed, reliability, and fashionable design.31 “Trashed” is the Civic Hybrid’s most recent television advertisement. As part of the “Reverse Your Thinking” campaign, the commercial’s subject is environmentalism, and RPA adds humor to choices consumers make – insinuating consumers can either clean up, get fed up, or carelessly contribute to the problem while strengthening Honda’s stance as environmentally friendly, according to a Honda press release. Paired with “The Odd Couple” theme song, “Trashed” depicts a clean versus messy story line, with a voice 15purecommunications situationanalysis
  16. 16. over by Kevin Spacey stating: “The incredibly clean and fuel-efficient Civic Hybrid from Honda. Reverse your thinking.”10 OthercampaignspromotingtheHondabrand include the “Power of Dreams” television spots and “The Nicest People” campaign. In “Power of Dreams” spots, Honda primarily communicates with males dreaming of motors, power, engine and speed, ideally translating this dream into buying a Honda car, truck, motorcycle, etc. These spots are futuristic, using slogans such as “I can see for miles” and “See what we see.” The commercial encourages the viewer to look into the future and depict Honda as part of this future.10 The “Nicest People” campaign is an example of a past marketing strategy for Honda’s motorcycles, but this campaign identifies Honda loyalists. The campaign depicted the “nicest people” riding Honda motorcycles such as housewives, parents with children, young couples and respectable people. These portrayals made the motorcycle seem casual and convenient for daily transportation, giving a new value to the Honda product. These “nice people” like the parents and couples, who are searching for convenience, stability, dependability, and simplicity in their lives, are Honda’s customers.10 The Pure Communications consumer survey revealed our consumers are more likely to watch funny or emotional advertisement. Respondents in the 18 to 24-year-old age group reportedly avoid advertisements that do not fall into these categories.21 Focus group respondents said they had seen Civic Hybrid advertisements but could not recall their contents.22 Consumers in the 45 to 54 age group are most likely to remember advertisements and slogans, as long as the advertisement is informative.21 The main implication to Honda’s creative advertising is distinguishing Civic Hybrid advertisements from Civic advertisements. Civic Hybrid advertisements are green, whereas Civic advertisements are black. Studies show that car advertisements are not green enough. This failure to talk green is costing advertisers opportunities to reach mainstream buyers, and a “huge disconnect between the advertising and the amount of interest” in car-related environmental issues exists.19 Concerns about fuel economy and gas prices prompt consumers to learn more about hybrid vehicles, but surveys show only one in five car purchasers last year recalled advertising mentioning global warming, the environment, or green issues. Two in five survey respondents remembered advertisements with environmental themes but could not recall the brand.19 The Civic Hybrid should capitalize on its consumers’ willingness to receive informative advertisements by including information about the Civic Hybrid’s fuel-efficiency, reliability, and conventionality. Public Opinion and Stakeholder Analysis Public Opinion on the Honda Civic Hybrid Multiple blogs on the Web provide insight into consumers’ experiences with the Civic Hybrid. These blogs demonstrate the Civic Hybrid’s main competitive advantage as the safest and cleanest hybrid on the market, particularly compared to the Prius. Scott N. posted April 2005: “I saw a version of the Honda Civic hybrid that was actually a bit safer, and a bit cleaner than the Prius, and with the Prius’ reputation for a 6 month wait (my wife is a wonderful woman, but patient she is not), I felt it was time to go shopping and 16 purecommunications:buildingbridgescampaign
  17. 17. find me a “Cleaner Civic Hybrid.”32 The main disadvantage Civic Hybrid purchasers cited on blogs was that their average mileage was lower than promised: “I have a 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid and am not happy with the average mileage. We are averaging 36-37 MPG. I don’t get it. If I drivelikeasnail(superslowoffthelineand very delicate on the gas during movement) I can get around 45-50MPG. This is very frustrating to me if we drive like normal people. We drive mixed c i t y / h w y . ” Posted by soundaround33 Not all Honda Civic Hybrid users are disappointed in gas mileage, as one blogger writes: “Honda Civic 2004 highway 60%, 40% town driving 42mpg. Purchased Mar. 4, 2004 Already got 35,000 miles on it and I love it. Planning on buying another this next year 2006.” Posted by N.K.33 Multiple explanations can be made for the inconsistent gas mileage Civic Hybrid users are encountering. Part of the overestimation of fuel economy by hybrids is due to a nearly two-decade long EPA testing problem that overestimated fuel economy of hybrids. EPA testing standards have recently been changed, and estimated fuel economy for hybrids should now be accurate. The way Civic Hybrid users drive their hybrids will also affect gas mileage. Educating associates at dealerships to inform purchasers about how to drive a hybrid efficiently is a way to combat these discrepancies in fuel- efficiency. Stakeholders Several organizations are interested in the manufacturing of the Civic Hybrid and in Honda’s success. Union of Concerned Scientists. This leading science-based non-profit organization works for the environment and a safer world. Every two years, they conduct analyses on automakers. Honda has finished first since 2000 as the greenest automaker.10 Honda and its Employees. Honda employs over 25,000 employees just in the United States. Any company culture problems such as education and training should be addressed so all consumers experience excellent customer service.10 EPA and the Government. Established by Congress in 1970, this organization works to achieve environmental goals by working with other organizations through partnership programs. EPA’s Green Power partnership supports organizations that buy or plan to buy green power. EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide reports both fuel economy and emissions of all newly manufactured vehicles, which it updates annually.2 The EPA also established the best workplace for commuters program, which encourages employers to sign voluntary agreements to offer employees outstanding, traffic reducing commuter benefits. The federal government has established the Clean Air Act, giving the federal government the authority to clean up air pollution through fuel economy and emissions regulations. Hybrid vehicles are eligible for federal tax credit.24 The Competition. TheToyota Prius is currently the top-selling hybrid, and more carmakers are introducing hybrid models. Corporate Sponsorships and Partnerships. 17purecommunications situationanalysis “ ” “Problems with the environment in the future will be the same if not increasing what they are today. Hybrids are going to help,” Ariel Bradford, 22, said.
  18. 18. Purchase and parking incentives offer opportunities for Honda to partner with corporations and universities. For example, Googleoffers$5,000towardahybridpurchase and $2,500 toward a lease of a vehicle that obtains partial zero emissions rating and at least 45 mpg for any employee. American Jewish Committee, Bank of America, and Clif Bar provide the same incentives. University of Miami and Montclair University offer 50 percent reductions in parking for hybrid drivers.34 Honda already has established several partnerships and sponsorships around the United States, mostly in California. For example, American Honda Motor Co sponsors the CivicTour, a two-month concert series displaying musical talent across the country. The tour allows music fans to see their favorite acts at low prices, while giving them a first-hand glimpse of the Honda Civic.10 Media Traditional media is not enough to reach the hybrid consumer. These consumers instead require multi-channel strategies to be reached. Suggested advertising media include self-service technology, particularly keyboards, touch screens, and kiosks, where consumers can explore for themselves.27 Honda is also currently using music as a medium to reach its audience. In f.y.e music retail stores, a Civic Hybrid creative is played for consumers sampling a CD or DVD at in- store kiosks. The Black Eyed Peas “tricked out” a Honda Civic Hybrid for their kick their tour in March 2006. The Civic Hybrid was featured in the group’s “Pump It” video, and the car was the grand prize in a sweepstakes built around the tour.25 In 2007, Fall Out Boy featured the Civic Hybrid in their tour. Cool additions to the model designed by the brand such as metallic black, gunmetal and silver flaked paint, graphics and autographs, and eco-friendly hemp upholstery were some of the “tricked out” elements added to the car. Fans entered a sweepstakes to win the car. This idea of pairing the Civic Hybrid with a touring music band brings innovation and environmental- thinking to the masses by combining a hot, new product with a hot, popular band.26 SWOT Analysis Strengths Honda is in the top three automakers• in the world and the most fuel-efficient automaker Honda is one of two companies (with• Toyota) who currently yields 90 percent of the hybrid market. Honda has been named the greenest• automaker four times in a row by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The Honda Civic is a well-established• brand The Honda Civic Hybrid has better• handling and design and looks more like conventional car than its competitors TheHondaCivicHybridgetsimpressively• high gas mileage Honda consumers describe themselves• using the same adjectives Honda uses to describe itself: trustworthy and reliable Hybrid consumers describe themselves• to be similar to Honda consumers The product’s audience want advertising• that is informative -- Honda can do this Honda is committed to saving the• environment and has various programs to do so Honda consumers watch an array of• television channels and read magazines Public opinion shows Honda Civic• Hybrid users are generally happy with their purchase 18 purecommunications:buildingbridgescampaign
  19. 19. The Honda Civic Hybrid is safer and• cleaner than the Toyota Prius Honda has several diverse partnerships• and sponsorships to get the brand name and image out to consumers Weaknesses Company culture -- consumers have• complainedHondaassociatesdiscourage hybrid purchases and are uneducated about the Honda Civic Hybrid in general The product is indistinguishable from• non-hybrid Civics Size and acceleration of the Honda• Civic Hybrid does not meet the needs of lifestyles of many car consumers 18-34-year-olds are a likely consumer• for Honda, but they reportedly “avoid ads” when possible Past slogans, ads and campaigns have• been seen by consumers, but not remembered Advertising the Honda Civic Hybrid has• not differed from advertising for the non- hybrid Honda Civic Honda Civic Hybrid is more a bit• expensive than competitors Opportunities Environmental issues are becoming• more of a concern for car consumers, and hybrid vehicles seem to be part of the solution Hybrid sales are increasing and expected• to continue to increase in coming years Hybrid owners have generally reported• satisfaction with their hybrids An increasing consumer interest in• “green” messaging in advertising an increasing general “green” lifestyle• trend Companies and cities have become• more interested in using hybrids for transportation needs Tax credit and corporate and university• incentives encourage hybrid purchasing Threats The Toyota Prius is currently the number• one selling hybrid More and more automakers are• introducing hybrid models Younger age groups know more about• the environment and hybrids, but they do not have the resources to buy yet. Consumer markets with the resources to• buy a hybrid are generally not educated enough to make the purchase decision 19purecommunications situationanalysis
  20. 20. 20 purecommunications:buildingbridgescampaign Summary Table Honda Civic Hybrid Sedan Toyota Prius Honda Civic Sedan Models Hybrid Sedan, Hybrid Sedan with Satellite-Linked Navigation system Prius, Touring Prius (bigger) DX, LX, EX, EX-L Colors Silver metallic Blue metallic Gray metallic Beige metallic Magnetic pearl Gray metallic Silver Blue Metallic Black Pearl White Blue Pearl Red Pearl Silver metallic Exterior Wheelbase (in.) 106.3 106.3 106.3 Length (in.) 176.7 175 176.7 Height (in.) 56.3 58.7 56.5 Width (in.) 69 67.9 69 Interior Headroom (in., front/rear) 39.4 / 37.4 39.1/37.3 39.4 / 37.4 Legroom (in., front/rear) 42.2 / 34.6 41.9/38.6 42.2 / 34.6 Shoulder Room (in., front/rear) 53.6 / 52.3 55.0/52.9 53.7 / 52.4 Hiproom (in., front/rear) 51.9 / 51.0 51.0/51.6 51.9 / 51.0 Cargo Volume (cu. ft.) 10.4 14.4 12 Passenger Volume (cu. ft.) 90.9 96.2 90.9 Seating Capacity 5 5 5 Performance Integrated Motor Assist IMA system: 110 hp, 1.3 liter, 8-valve, SOHC, i-VTEC 4-cylinder gas engine + electric motor 1.5 liter, aluminum double overhead cam 16-valve VVT-I 4-cylinder 140-hp, 1.8-Liter, 16-Valve SOHC i-VTEC engine Continuously variable transmission Electronically controlled continuously variable transmission 5-speed manual or automatic Idle-stop feature Gas mileage 40 mpg city/45 mpg hwy 48 mpg city/45 mpg hwy/46 mpg combined 5-Speed Manual: 26 mpg city/34 mpg hwy/29 mpg combined Advanced Technology Partial-zero-emission vehicle (AT-PZEV) rating Advanced Technology Partial-zero-emission vehicle (AT-PZEV) rating Price $22,600 $20,950 DX: $15,010 With Navigation system: $24,350 Touring: $23,220 LX: $16,960 EX: $18,710 10, 11
  21. 21. campaign strategy “ ” As consumers, Thinkers are conservative and practical. They look for durability, functionality and value in the products they buy.
  22. 22. Campaign Objective Sales of hybrids are expected to rise as high as 35 percent by the end of 2007, according to ourresearchintheSituationAnalysis. Despite this increase, the Toyota Prius dominates the hybrid auto market. The Prius accounted for 67.4 percent of announced hybrid sales from January 2007 – August 2007, whereas the Honda Civic Hybrid accounted for 11.8 percent of these sales. To take advantage of the hybrid’s increasing popularity, Pure Communications ultimately wants to increase salience of the Honda Civic Hybrid within the hybrid auto market and within Honda’s product line. With this increased salience, the Honda Civic Hybrid will experience higher sales and, eventually, will replace the Toyota Prius as the hybrid brand leader and as the hybrid vehicle-of- choice. To achieve these long-term goals, Pure Communications will satisfy the following short-term objectives in the 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid “Building Bridges” Campaign: To promote the Honda Civic Hybrid as fuel- efficient hybrid vehicle To promote the Honda Civic Hybrid as a more reliable and a more conventional car than the current hybrid brand leader, the Toyota Prius Pure Communications will inform consumers of the Civic Hybrid’s fuel- efficient characteristics and educate them of this vehicle’s reliability and conventional features, as a competitive advantage over the Toyota Prius, through a three-part cognitive process: We will create awareness of hybrid• vehicles’ beneficial effects on the environment. We will create awareness of the Honda• Civic Hybrid’s fuel-efficiency. We will create awareness of the• Honda Civic Hybrid’s reliability and conventional car features, as compared to the Toyota Prius. Pure Communications will implement this three-part cognitive process through two distinct methods. We first will emphasize reach in our campaign by broadly informing car consumers of the fuel-efficient hybrid version of Honda’s already-established Civic model. We then will appeal directly to car consumers who are receptive to hybrid vehicles. By educating this target market about the Civic Hybrid’s reliability and conventional car features, we will attempt to reshape the current common attitude of the Toyota Prius as the hybrid brand leader and as the hybrid vehicle-of-choice. Primary Target Market Changing the present perception of the Prius as the hybrid vehicle brand leader poses implications to our “Building Bridges” campaign because the Prius holds 55.6 percent more hybrid auto market share than the Civic Hybrid. Pure Communications will address this perception by directing our cognitive-based campaign at a distinct car consumer market segment. Through the qualitative and quantitative research outlined in the Situation Analysis, Pure Communications determined a shared 22 purecommunications:buildingbridges “ ” The Honda Civic Hybrid will experience higher sales and, eventually, will replace the Toyota Prius as the hybrid brand leader and as the hybrid vehicle-of-choice.
  23. 23. mindset between Honda Civic and hybrid vehicle consumers, identifying this receptive target market as the “Thinkers.” Motivated primarily by ideals and guided by knowledge and principles, Thinkers possess the following characteristics: They are mature, satisfied, comfortable,• and reflective people who value order, knowledge, and responsibility. They tend to be well educated.• They actively seek out information in the• decision-making process. They are well informed about world and• international events. They are alert to opportunities that• broaden their knowledge. Although Thinkers are conscious of their individual contributions to society and receptivetoideasthatbettertheircommunities, they are unsure of the measurable impact of their individual contributions. Thinkers respect conventional institutions of authority and social decorum, even though they are interested in considering new ideas. Thinkers are conservative and practical consumers. They look for durability, functionality, and value in the products they buy. Typically loyal customers,Thinkers tend to choose familiar products and established brands. Within this primary target market, Pure Communications specifically will pursue 18 to 34-year-old car consumers. Through Simmons data, extensive surveying, and focus groups, Pure Communications identified that Honda Civic users are more likely than the average consumer to belong to this age group. Eighteen to thirty-four year olds are most knowledgeable about hybrid vehicles and their beneficial impacts on the environment. According to our qualitative data, fuel-efficiency and reliability rank among the most important concerns that these young car consumers consider when purchasing a car. The Prius already sustains a loyal customer base in older age demographics. Our research suggests that consumers who purchase a hybrid vehicle tend to be loyal to that brand. By appealing to 18 to 34-year- old Thinkers who are purchasing their first or second cars, the Honda Civic Hybrid ideally will secure Honda brand loyalty from these entry-level car consumers, especially as they consider subsequent car purchases. Secondary Target Market Pure Communications additionally identified a secondary target market: mid-size to large- size companies. According to our research in the Situation Analysis, these companies are increasingly choosing hybrids for their company cars. As Thinkers are interested in durable, conventional, and cost-efficient cars that can transport them from “Point A to Point B,” corporate institutions consider similar qualities when purchasing company car fleets. Pure Communications will target mid-size to large-size companies who frequently use company cars, either by allowing employees to use the company-owned cars on a need- by-need basis or by leasing out company- purchased cars to employees at a discount. To keep this secondary target compatible with our primary target market, we will specifically select mid-size to large-size companies on the following criteria: Employsubstantialnumbersofemployees• age 18 to 34 years old 23purecommunications campaignstrategy
  24. 24. Considered innovative by their• communities Exhibit environmental concern in their• business actions Examples of these businesses include Procter & Gamble, Google, 3M,Virgin,Target,Apple, Samsung and Amazon. Pure Communications will approach this secondary market less aggressively than our primary market, but we will still implement the three-part cognitive process outlined in the Campaign Objectives section. Because corporations act as social and economic institutions, they have the power and the authority to advance new ideas within society. While Thinkers do not always follow the status quo, they still respect social institutions, looking to them for guidance and to promote social growth. Competitive Advantage The Civic Hybrid not only boasts high fuel- efficiency but also is more reliable and more conventional than the Prius. Pure Communications will educate our primary and secondary target markets of these competitive advantages, ideally prompting our targeted car consumers to purchase the Civic Hybrid. The Civic Hybrid has higher fuel-efficiency than Honda’s non-hybrid version, the Honda Civic. Our survey respondents overwhelmingly name this fuel-efficiency as a crucial and primary concern when purchasing a new car. As conservative consumers, Thinkers also are more inclined to purchase fuel-efficient vehicles to offset rising gas prices. 57 percent of car consumers say they would consider purchasing a hybrid vehicle as their next purchase to avoid rising gas prices. While fuel-efficiency is the predominant concern, our research indicates that hybrid car consumers also consider reliability and conventionality of the car. Consumer Reports ranked the Civic Hybrid as a top small car in October 2007, and the car scored 72 percent on its overall road test, whereas the Prius scored 68 percent. Both the Civic and the Civic Hybrid dominate Consumer Reports’ top picks of small cars. The Civic Hybrid and the Civic have similar car dimensions, as shown in the Situation Analysis. The Prius boasts slightly larger exterior and interior dimensions, but Prius consumers tend to be older than Civic Hybrid consumers. Our Thinkers belong primarily to the 18 to 34 age demographic and tend to be singles or married professionals without children. As conservative consumers, our Thinkers do not need excess passenger volume nor excess cargo space. Test-drivers criticize the Prius’ drivability and praise the Civic Hybrid’s ability to drive like a conventional car. Because hybrids demonstrate long-term savings in operational car costs such as maintenance and repair, the Civic Hybrid is more economical than a conventional car, while maintaining its conventional car drivability. Whereas the costs of owning and operating a Civic amounts to $31,595, the cost of owning and operating a Civic Hybrid amounts to $23,268. The Honda Brand Honda Motor Co. is one of the most dependable and fuel-efficient automakers in the world. In its production of automobiles, Honda is committed to addressing environmental challenges, particularly in improving fuel-efficiency, reducing smog- 24 purecommunications:buildingbridges
  25. 25. forming emissions, and advancing real-world alternatives to gasoline. By demonstrating this environmental concern in all of its automobile productions, Honda, as an established corporate institution that our Thinkers respect, has the power to set and to practice environmental standards that will benefit society. Campaign Tactics Pure Communications will satisfy the short- term objectives detailed in the Campaign Objectives section through a fully integrated advertising and public relations campaign. By creating awareness of the Civic Hybrid and by educating car consumers of its competitive advantages through creative messages, strategic media placement, and promotions, Pure Communications ultimately will elevate the Civic Hybrid to the hybrid vehicle-of-choice, over the Prius. Creative Plan Thinkers actively seek out information in their decision-making processes, so we will primarily execute a cognitive-based creative plan. Car consumers rely heavily on data concerning factors like fuel-economy, dependability, and physical dimensions when purchasing a car, and our cognitive- based creative plan will deliver this data to our target markets. The creative plan also will translate easily between our two target markets, since because both markets’ purchasing behaviors ultimately depend on the pertinent information available. We will use both broadcast and print advertisements in our creative plan. Broadcast advertisements should create general awareness of the Civic Hybrid, whereas print advertisements should educate our target markets of the vehicle’s competitive advantages. Broadcast advertisements will reinforce the Honda brand, promoting brand loyalty, whereas print advertisements will provide the information Thinkers need to make a high-involvement purchase. Both broadcast and print advertisements shouldappealtoourentry-levelcarconsumer demographic. We will do this not only by educating our target markets of the Civic Hybrid’s competitive advantages but also by invoking emotions such as responsibility, knowledge, and accomplishment within our target consumers. These emotions ideally will inspire car consumers to seek out more information about the Civic Hybrid and its competitive advantages. With this information, our target market eventually will purchase the Civic Hybrid. Media Plan Following the two distinct methods of implementing our “Building Bridges” campaign outlined in the Campaign Objectives section, Pure Communications will use a pulsing media strategy. The “Building Bridges” campaign will run from January 2008 through December 2008, but we will kick-off the campaign in April with a heavy pulse of broadcast and print advertisements. The campaign will continue at this heavy pulse throughout October. Car consumers tend to purchase new cars from late summer through fall, when automakers introduce the next year’s new models. While advertising of the Civic Hybrid will not stop completely in the winter months, we will 25purecommunications campaignstrategy “ ” Pure Communications determined a shared mindset between Honda Civic and hybrid vehicle consumers, and we identified this receptive target market as the “Thinkers.”
  26. 26. drastically decrease media placement of both broadcast and print advertisements in these months. Because we want to simultaneously create awareness of the Civic Hybrid and educate our target markets of the vehicle’s competitive advantages, Pure Communications will run both print and broadcast advertisements at similar GRPs throughout the entire campaign. Broadcast advertisements will appear mainly on conglomerate television and radio networks such as ABC, NBC, and CBS. We will place television advertisements during prime-time shows in order to reach large audiences,becausetelevisionadvertisements will be used to create awareness of the Civic Hybrid. Radio advertisements will be placed during peak travel times such as weekdays from 6 – 8 a.m. and from 5 – 7 p.m., when commuters are most likely to be in their cars. Print advertisements will primarily appear in nationally circulated consumer magazines such as Time and People magazines, and in magazines that boast high circulations among Thinkers, such as The New Yorker and The Economist. While our creative messages will largely appear in national medias, Pure Communications identified geographical locations that are most receptive to the Civic Hybrid. According to our research in the Situation Analysis, hybrids are most used in the West and in urban and suburban mid- sized to large-sized cities, where many people commute from work or home. Pure Communications will similarly target mid-size to large-size cities based on the following criteria: High traffic levels• High commuting levels• Accommodate many young• professionals Considered green cities• Examples include the following cities and their immediate suburbs: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Denver, New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, and Minneapolis. Public Relations Campaign Our public relations campaign will complement the creative messages and media placements, particularly by educating the primary and secondary target markets about the Civic Hybrid’s competitive advantages. Our promotional tactics will more aggressively educate these car consumers, especially by emphasizing hands-on, interactive experiences with the Civic Hybrid. As described in the Situation Analysis, Honda previously sponsored Honda Civic Hybrid Music Tours, and we will consider hosting a similar nationwide event allowing consumers to interact with the Civic Hybrid. This “Building Bridges” test-drive tour will be publicized with press conferences and press kits, sponsored by local green companies or environmental organizations, and honor environmentally forward-thinking local citizens. The test-drive tour will visit cities where its residents are more receptive to the Civic Hybrid than the average car consumer, such as the cities outlined above. Through these promotional tactics and creativemessages,PureCommunicationswill also drive traffic to the Honda Civic Hybrid 26 purecommunications:buildingbridges “ ” Consumer Reports ranked the Civic Hybrid as a top small car in October 2007.
  27. 27. Web site. We will list the Web site’s URL in print advertisements and on promotional literature, such as press releases, pamphlets, and press kits. Car consumers will also use the Web site to register for the test-drive tour mentioned above. Conclusion In the 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid “Building Bridges” Campaign, Pure Communications will fulfill its short-term objectives of promoting the Civic Hybrid as a fuel- efficient hybrid vehicle and of promoting the Civic Hybrid as a more reliable and more conventional car than the Prius. Through a fully integrated advertising and public relations campaign, Pure Communications will create awareness of the Civic Hybrid and will educate car consumers of the vehicle’s competitive advantages. We will direct this campaign at Thinkers, our primary target market, and at mid-size to large-size companies, our secondary target market. Through quantitative and qualitative research, we identified these two groups as most receptive to the Civic Hybrid, and we determined these target markets’ most receptive contact points through extensive media analysis. By reaching our target consumers and by satisfying this campaign’s short-term objectives, the Honda Civic Hybrid eventually will increase in salience within the hybrid auto market and ultimately replace theToyota Prius as the hybrid vehicle- of-choice. 27purecommunications campaignstrategy
  28. 28. creative “ ” These Thinkers are receptive to the Civic Hybrid because they are constantly searching for ways to create balance in their lives.
  29. 29. purecommunications Problems Facing the Honda Civic Hybrid Hybrid vehicles are relatively new in the• auto market The Toyota Prius dominates the hybrid• auto market segment The Toyota Prius is seen as the hybrid• brand leader and hybrid vehicle of choice Consumers tend to associate hybrid• vehicles with the Toyota Prius Our Solution Promote the Honda Civic Hybrid’s• competitive advantage as a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle Promote the Honda Civic Hybrid’s• competitive advantages as a more reliable and a more conventional car than the current hybrid brand leader, the Toyota Prius The “Building Bridges” Campaign The Honda Civic Hybrid is unlike any other vehicle in the auto market. Acting as both a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle and a reliable, conventional compact car, the Civic Hybrid tightens the gap between innovative, green auto technology and traditional, standard automobiles. The Honda Civic Hybrid builds a bridge between these two seemingly clashing aspects of the automobile industry. This bridge represents the perfect balance between advancing technology and the respected status quo. This bridge represents the perfect balance between a promising future and a rich history. This bridge is the Honda Civic Hybrid. Target Audience The Thinkers, our primary target market, are looking for this bridge. They are intelligent, sophisticated, and conscientious of the world that they live in. They are still young, but they demonstrate up-and-coming go-getter attitudes. They are interested in bettering themselves and the society surrounding them. These Thinkers are receptive to the Civic Hybrid because they are constantly searching for ways to create balance in their lives. They want to save the world, but they will do so in a practical, rational, and mature manner. Brand Personality, Emotions Conveyed, and Desired Actions Pure Communications’ creative executions for the 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid “Building Bridges” Campaign will cater to these values. In our advertisements, we will invoke emotions such as responsibility, knowledge, and humble accomplishment, since these types of ideals motivate our Thinkers to act. Because our primary target market generally are 18 to 34-year-old entry-level car consumers, our creative executions also will be humorous to appeal to this younger demographic. As our Thinkers seek out information in the decision-making process, particularly for high-involvement products such as a car, Pure Communications will communicate to our target market about the Civic Hybrid’s competitive advantages. Pure Communications will both broadly inform Thinkers of the fuel-efficient Civic Hybrid and educate these consumers of the Civic Hybrid’s reliability and conventional car features, as detailed in the Campaign Strategy. Although we will use television, radio, and outdoor advertising to create general awareness of the Civic Hybrid, our 29purecommunications creative
  30. 30. heavily cognitive print advertisement will present the Thinkers with comprehensive data supporting the fact that the Civic Hybrid is the right vehicle for them. In television, radio, and outdoor advertisements, Pure Communications will employ a soft-sell approach familiarizing Thinkers with the Civic Hybrid. Our hard- sell approach in magazine and newspaper advertisements will ideally prompt these car consumers to purchase the Civic Hybrid. Continuity Elements This campaign will establish the Civic Hybrid not only as both a hybrid vehicle and a car, but also as a vehicle that our Thinkers can trust. We will create this trust through creative continuity elements, such as positioning the Honda logo and “Building Bridges” slogan in every advertisement and by using clean, black uniform type. Each advertisement also will pit the Civic Hybrid against a parody of competing hybrids, and of less fuel-efficient cars and SUVs. By placing the Civic Hybrid in between these two extreme types of vehicles, the Civic Hybrid both physically and metaphorically becomes the bridge. Creative Executions Television EachTV spot will be 30 seconds long. We will emphasizesoft-selloverhard-sellbecausethe campaign’s television advertisements should emphasize reach in creating awareness of the Civic Hybrid. Because the “Building Bridges” campaign is cognitive-based and our Thinkers consistently crave information, each commercial will still include minimal information about the Civic Hybrid’s fuel- efficiency, reliability and conventional car features. “Stuck” This 30-second commercial features a young woman commuting to work in her Civic Hybrid. She is stuck in traffic. She is surrounded by ridiculous spaceship-looking, egg-like, bubbly “hybrids” on one side and by gas-guzzling, boxy enormous “SUVs” on the other side. As she looks from right to left in her Civic Hybrid, she clicks on her radio, playing “We’re From Barcelona” by I’m From Barcelona, an up-beat song. The lyrics aren’t played, just the music. The young woman enjoys sitting in her car, happy with her decision to build the bridge between car and hybrid. A voice-over says: “The all-new 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid – looks like a car, drives like a car. In a fuel-efficient hybrid.” The screen fades to the Honda “Building Bridges” logo and “Honda. Building Bridges.” “Lock It” This30-secondcommercialpairswith“Stuck,” featuring the same young, sophisticated woman. She arrives at work and pulls into her parking spot. Other co-workers are there with their ridiculous-looking “hybrids” and “SUVs.” As she gets out of the car, she effortlessly locks her Civic Hybrid with the push of a button (her keyless entry fob) and continues walking towards the work building with ease. She smiles and says hello to her co-workers, who are having a rough time trying to lock their vehicles. The “hybrids” are hovering, making it impossible to reach the lock. The co-workers with “SUVs” are having a hard time simply getting out of their vehicles without a ladder. The Civic Hybrid driver walks by with a bounce in her step as “We’re From Barcelona” begins playing. A voice-over says: “The all-new 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid – looks like a car, drives like a car. In a fuel-efficient hybrid.” The screen fades to the Honda “Building Bridges” logo and “Honda. Building Bridges.” 30 purecommunications:buildingbridges
  31. 31. 31purecommunications Song: “We’re From Barcelona” by I’m From Barcelona She clicks on her radio. VO: The all-new 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid – looks like a car, drives like a car. In a fuel-efficient hybrid. Song: fade VO: Honda. Building Bridges. Thinker is stuck in traffic on her way to work. She looks to both sides, seeing an over- exaggerated “hybrid” bubble car on one side. Sbe sees an over-exaggerated “SUV” to her other side. creative “Stuck”
  32. 32. 32 purecommunications:buildingbridges Song: fade VO: Honda. Building Bridges. Song: “We’re From Barcelona” by I’m From Bar- celona Thinker locks her car. VO: The all-new 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid – looks like a car, drives like a car. In a fuel-efficient hybrid. Woman looks at co-workers having difficulty locking their vehicles. Thinker arrives at work, parks. Thinker, happy about her Civic Hybrid purchase, walks into work. “Lock it”
  33. 33. Radio The radio spot will be a 30-second support ad for the television commericals. It will include more cognitive information to cater to the Thinkers’ desire for information about high- involvement products. It will feature the same song as in theTV ads, “We’re From Barcelona.” A sample script is below. SFX: “We’re From Barcelona” by I’m From Barcelona VOICEOVER: The all-new 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid builds bridges. WOMAN: Do you want a fuel-efficient hybrid without looking like a spaceship about to take off every time you accelerate? WOMAN: Or how about a durable, reliable car that saves you money while you sit in traffic? VOICEOVER: With 40 miles per gallon in the city and 45 highway miles, the Civic Hybrid is the perfect choice. VOICEOVER: Starting at just $22,600. VOICEOVER: Visit www.honda.com. VOICEOVER: The Honda Civic Hybrid. Building Bridges. SFX: fade out Print Print ads will run primarily in magazines, with some support ads both outdoor and in newspapers. The ads will have simple, clean designs. The Civic Hybrid will be featured in the center of the ad to draw attention to its sleek design and conventionality. The copy will be black, with important phrases bolded. Each ad will feature the Building Bridges logo. They will play off of the television ads, with more emphasis on fuel-efficiency and the comparison between a conventional car and an over-exaggerated “hybrid” as in the TV ads. They will feature more cognitive information like the radio ads to increase awareness about gas mileage and price. Four samples follow. 33purecommunications creative
  34. 34. 34 purecommunications:buildingbridges The all-new 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid Fuel-efficient, reliable, durable. Not a bubble. Starting at $22,600. 40 miles per gallon in the city, 45 highway miles. Visit www.honda.com for more information. Honda. Building Bridges.
  35. 35. 35purecommunications creative The all-new fuel-efficient 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid See any resemblance? Neither do we. Starting at $22,600. 40 miles per gallon in the city, 45 highway miles. Visit www.honda.com for more information. Honda. Building Bridges.
  36. 36. 36 purecommunications:buildingbridges The all-new 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid Fuel-efficient, reliable, durable. Not a bubble. Starting at $22,600. 40 miles per gallon in the city, 45 highway miles. Visit www.honda.com for more information. Honda. Building Bridges.
  37. 37. 37purecommunications creative Sittingintraffic? Theall-new fuel-efficient2008 HondaCivicHybrid Honda.BuildingBridges. Getbettergasmileage. 45milespergallon highwaydriving.
  38. 38. media “ ” Pure Communications has allocated 95 percent or $76,243,952 of the campaign’s 80 million dollar budget for media purchasing and a pulsing media strategy.
  39. 39. purecommunications Media Planning The prevalence of hybrid vehicles in todayís auto market is limited. To ultimately increase salience of the Honda Civic Hybrid within the hybrid auto market, we first will promote the Civic Hybrid as a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle, and as a more reliable and conventional car the current hybrid brand leader, the Toyota Prius. Through a diverse mix of media, Pure Communications will create awareness of the Civic Hybrid and educate our target markets of the Civic Hybrid’s competitive advantages. This integrated media strategy will reach a broad number of car consumers, effectively cutting through the clutter populating mass culture. Media Objectives To cut through this clutter, Pure Communications identified the campaign’s primary target market as Thinkers. Educated, mature, and conscientious, these Thinkers want to improve their surrounding environment. Through a cognitive-based campaign, we will targetThinkers in the 18 to 34-year-old demographic. Civic users tend to belong to this age group, and this age group is more likely than the average consumer to care about environmental impacts such as lowering gas emissions. We also will direct media efforts at a secondary target market: mid-size to large- size companies. This secondary target market will be approached less aggressively, so the bulk of our media efforts will focus on communicating with the Thinkers. We will use the following media to communicate with our target markets: Television• Radio• Magazine• Newspaper• Outdoor• Internet• Media Strategy In September 2007, the Prius outsold the Civic Hybrid by 15,809 units. Pure Communicationswilllaunchthe2008Honda Civic Hybrid ìBuilding Bridgesî Campaign in April 2008 in attempt to ultimately increase sales. We will employ a pulsing strategy, with the highest pulses of advertisements occurring from April through October, because consumers tend to purchase cars from late summer through fall. Inthesesixmonths,wewillstrategicallyplace both broadcast and print advertisements to create awareness of the Civic Hybrid and to educate car consumers of the vehicle’s competitive advantages. Television and radio advertisements will create awareness of the product and appeal more emotionally to the consumers. Magazine and newspaper advertisements will educate consumers of the product’s competitive advantages, serving as informational supplements to the broadcast advertisements. While advertising of the Civic Hybrid will not stop completely in the winter months, we will drastically decrease the media placement pulse for both broadcast and print advertisements in the building phase of the media plan, from November through March. People are less likely to purchase vehicles in these months, but we do not want to eliminate advertising all together, since our target market tends to research their purchase decisions in advance. Thinkers tend to seek out knowledge, so we will place Civic Hybrid advertisements in mediums geared towards 39purecommunications media
  40. 40. this target market. Pure Communications has allocated 95 percent, or $76,243,952, of the campaignís $80 million budget for media purchasing, saving five percent for contingencies or unexpected costs. Broadcast Broadcast media such as television and radio will be used to create awareness of the Civic Hybrid, and of Hondaís reliable and dependable brand image. Television Themediaplaninvolvesnationaltelevisionas well as spot television advertising. Television is the most pervasive form of media and often apparent in every household. According to Simmons data, Honda users tend to watch national channels such as ABC, NBC, and CBS. As the Media Flow Chart shows, we will assign 26 percent, or $21,069,391, of our media allocation to national television in both primetime and late night advertising. Honda Civic users are also more likely than the average consumer to watch cable channels such as CNN, BET, Comedy Central, Food Network, ESPN, MTV and Oxygen, so we allocated 13 percent, or $10,767,120, to national cable television primetime advertising. We will purchase spot television in order to reach specific regional audiences, such as Los Angeles, Southern California and the other geographical target market listed in the Campaign Strategy. Sixteen percent of this spot advertising will be national television at both primetime and late night times, costing $13,242,624, while nearly five percent, or $3,820,440 is allocated for spot advertising on cable primetime television. As evident on the Media Flow Chart, 61 percent, or $48,899,575, of our media budget will be spent on television advertising. Radio Four percent of the media budget or $3,099,420, is allocated for radio advertising, as documented in the Media Flow Chart. Radio is an inexpensive form of media, lends itself to all sorts of different situations and contexts, and supports other forms of media used in the campaign such as outdoor. We will use national and spot radio ads during 40 purecommunications:buildingbridges % Media Allocation 61% 18% 9% 2% 4% 1% Television Magainzes Newspapers Outdoor Radio Internet
  41. 41. purecommunications body text 41 peak drive times such as weekday mornings from 6-8 a.m. and evenings from 5-7 p.m., although more GRPs are dedicated to national radio. Similar to television, national radio is a viable medium for selling automobiles because it reaches broad audiences, and we will place our advertisements on large network radio affiliates such as CBS, ABC, and Clear Channel to reach these audiences. Our radio spot ads will appear in large cities such as Los Angeles and other cities listed in the Campaign Strategy. We will also place advertisements during more educational programs or talk shows in order to appeal to our Thinkers. Print The “Building Bridges” campaign’s broadcast advertisements should reach mass audiences in order to create awareness of the Civic Hybrid. In contrast, our heavily cognitive printadvertisementswilleducateourThinkers about the Civic Hybridís fuel-efficiency, and reliable and conventional car features, as compared to the Prius, while using rich imagery and design to differentiate the Civic Hybrid from the Prius. Magazine Cognitive consumers like ourThinkers tend to spend ample time looking at magazines and are more likely than the average consumer to retain information seen in advertisements. According to Simmons data, female Civic owners tend to read magazines such as Cosmopolitan,People,andGlamour. Because of this information, Pure Communications allocated about six percent, or $5,097,600, of our media budget to national womenís- interest magazines. Male Civic owners read GQ and Sports Illustrated, so we allocated roughly seven percent, or $5,866,690, of the media budget to national menís- interest magazines. Roughly 4 percent, or $3,625,048, of the budget is allocated for general interest and trade magazines such as Time, The Economist, and Newsweek. Trade magazines will be used particularly to target media GRP'S per month 152 152 152 426 425 425 425 426 425 426 152 152 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 January February March April May June July August September October NovemberDecember GRP'S per month “ ” By reinforcing Honda’s dependable image, the Honda Civic Hybrid will attach itself to a reliable label, causing further distinction between Honda and the competitors of Toyota.
  42. 42. our secondary target market: mid-size to large-size companies. Circulations for the magazines mentioned above are as follows: Cosmopolitan• : 2,916,000 People• : 28.9 million Glamour• : 2,262,242 GQ:• 931,694 Sports Illustrated:• 3,250,912 Time,• 3,250,00 The Economist:• 1,260,457 Newsweek,• 3.1 million Newspaper We will use national and local newspapers both for their market selectivity and to target specific geographic locations. Newspaper readership increases with age and education, andreaching68percentofadults,newspapers also allow a narrow and more specific reach of educated people like our Thinkers. Nine percent of the media budget is allocated toward newspaper advertising. As the Media Flow Chart suggests, this percentage is split between national newspapers and local newspaperscirculatednationally.Fivepercent of our budget, or $3,664,528, is allocated for national newspaper advertisements, and these ads will run as half page, black and white displays. The other four percent, or $3,491,091, of the newspaper allocation is for local newspapers circulated nationally, such as The Chicago Tribune. With a circulation number of 3.3 million per week, newspapers like The Chicago Tribune allow us to reach specific regions and multiple cities simultaneously. Outdoor Outdoorbillboardadvertisingwillsupplement radio advertisements, heightening awareness of the Civic Hybrid among commuters. Billboardsallowforhigh-impactlargevisuals, and serve primarily as brand reminders reinforcing the creative concept of the campaign. We allocated two percent of the media budget, or $1,330,000, for outdoor. Billboards will be placed in areas with high traffic count such as the L.A. Freeway in order to ensure maximum visibility in the geographical regions specified in the Campaign Strategy. 44 GRPs are allocated for outdoor over the course of 12 months. 42 purecommunications:buildingbridges 48 48 48 272 272 272 272 272 272 272 48 48 26 26 26 53 53 53 53 53 53 53 26 26 17 16 16 16 17 16 17 2 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 2 2 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 1 1 1 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 1 1 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 January February March April May June July August September October Novemeber December Television Magazines Newspaper Outdoor Radio Internet GRP'S/MONTH/MEDIUM
  43. 43. Internet We do not want to sell Honda Civic Hybrids online but rather want to utilize the Internet as an information hub. Through the Internet, Pure Communications can track consumersí online behaviors and adapt our advertising messages accordingly. We will conduct this tracking by purchasing key words, which will account for a little over one percent of the media budget, or $1,170,000. This form of search advertisement places online ads on results pages of search engines. Our Thinkers are information-oriented, and these key words will allow us to target them specifically as they are researching the Civic Hybrid online. We will purchase key words on major search engines such as Google, MSN, and Yahoo. Campaign Timeline As mentioned above, Pure Communications will launch our campaign in April of 2008. We will use heavy GRPs steadily from April through October, as most car consumers purchase automobiles during these months. GRP allocation will remain generally consistent at around 11-12 percent throughout these seven months, with slightly more GRPs allocated during October, when the next yearís car models are unveiled. By heavily saturating consumers with broadcast and print advertisements the months leading into the fall and winter, we intend to drastically increase awareness of the Civic Hybrid, while allowing our Thinkers plenty of time to research the vehicle themselves. When our pulsing drastically decreases around November 2008, we will eliminate national television, focusing instead on print advertising. These advertisement will be placed in more specialized magazines like The Economist, so that Civic Hybrid information still is available for the Thinkers seeking it. *Note: Percentages are rounded to nearest whole. See Media Flow Chart for specific numbers.body textbody textbody text 43purecommunications media “ ” By heavily saturating consumers with media for the months leading into the fall and winter, we will drastically increase awareness of the Honda Civic Hybrid’s benefits to the environment, fuel-efficiency, as well as the reliability and conventionality of Honda vehicles.
  44. 44. 44 purecommunications:buildingbridges JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberCPP/MediaVehicle%MediaAllocation$MediaAllocationTotalGRPs MediaCategories Television NationalTVPrimetime55555555555555$33,10315.93%$12,744,655385 NationalTVLatenight48484848484848$24,77610.41%$8,324,736336 SpotTVPrimetime131313252525252525251313$36,02210.81%$8,645,280240 SpotTVLatenight151515343434343434341515$14,6885.75%$4,597,344313 NationalCableTVPrimetime80808080808080$19,22713%$10,767,120560 SpotCableTVPrimetime202020303030303030302020$12,3244.78%$3,820,440310 TelevisionSummary61%$48,899,575 Magazines National-Men's131313202020202020201313$28,6187.33%$5,866,690205 National-Women's131313252525252525251313$21,2406.37%$5,097,600240 National-General8888888$64,7334.53%$3,625,04856 MagazineSummary18%$14,589,338 Newspapers NationalNewspapers16161616161616$32,7195%$3,664,528112 LocalNewspapersNationally111$1,163,697/month4%$3,491,0913 NewspaperSummary9%$7,155,619 Outdoor Billboards222444444422$35,000/month/spot2%$1,330,00038 OutdoorSummary2%$1,330,000 Radio National-Primedrivetimes454545454545454545454545$2,9131.97%$1,573,020540 Spot-Primedrivetimes303030303030303030303030$4,2401.91%$1,526,400360 RadioSummary4%$3,099,420 Internet Keywords111555555511$29,250/month1%$1,170,00040 InternetSummary1%$1,170,000 TOTAL%and$Used95%$76,243,952 TotalBudget$80,000,000 TotalGRPs1521521524264254254254264254261521523738
  45. 45. public relations “ ” This full-day event will give potential Honda Civic Hybrid purchasers the opportunity to test-drive a Civic hybrid with a trained Honda technician.
  46. 46. Public Opinion Fourteen different models of hybrids exist in the auto market, with 75 models expected by 2011. Sales of hybrids shot from next to nothing in 1999 to 84,000 in 2004, and numbers continue to rise. Eighty percent of car consumers stated that they were concerned about gas prices last year. Due to these prices, 57 percent of car consumers said they would consider a hybrid vehicle as their next car purchase, and 49 percent said they would consider a vehicle that used alternative sources of fuel. The Surveys. Pure Communications conducted a series of surveys in October 2007. According to our research, the 18 to 34-year-old demographic primarily valued a vehicle’s fuel-efficiency. The Focus Group. We discovered that the majority of respondents thought that the similar of design between the Civic Hybrid and Civic was a major disadvantage to purchasing the Civic Hybrid. However, these respondents also viewed the Honda brand as a dependable, cost-effective solution to growing environmental concerns. The Blogosphere. The most common grievance on blogs relevant to the Civic Hybrid was the Civic Hybrid’s lower-than- promised gas mileage. “We’re just normal Southern California drivers, we don’t speed, and the best gas mileage we have gotten so far, (was when) we made a trip in the car to Vegas, coming back we used the cruise control. We got 34.6 miles to the gallon,” said musician John True, a Honda Civic Hybrid owner who is suing Honda over incorrect gas mileage estimates, on www.AutoblogGreen.com. “Honda Civic 2004 highway 60%, 40% town driving 42mpg. Purchased Mar. 4, 2004. Already got 35,000 miles on it and I love it.  Planning on buying another this next year 2006.” Posted by N.K., a proud Honda Civic Hybrid owner, on www.soultek.com. Differences in individual driving can also affect the obtained gas mileage. Knowledgeable Honda dealers can help eliminate these gas mileage discrepancies by preemptively educating drivers on how to drive their hybrid more efficiently. Stakeholders Multiple organizations are concerned about the environment and the positive legacy that Honda continues with its latest hybrid addition, the Honda Civic Hybrid. Keeping the organizations below in mind while developing the 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid “Building Bridges” Campaign will contribute to having as many advocates as possible helping to promote the Civic Hybrid. These stakeholders are discusses more thoroughly in the Situation Analysis. Union of Concerned Scientists• Employees• The Government• Honda Motor Co. and American Honda• Motor Co. Shareholders• Environmental groups such as the EPA• The Toyota Prius• As discovered in the primary research exhibited in the Situation Analysis, many consumers find the design of the Prius to be futuristic and ugly. Ultimately increasing the salience of the Civic Hybrid by promoting the Civic Hybrid’s fuel-efficiency, reliability, and conventional car features, as compared to the Prius, car consumers will be offered 46 purecommunications:buildingbridges
  47. 47. the best of both worlds: an environmentally friendly hybrid vehicle that drives like a standard compact car. Public Relations Strategy Public Relations will play a key role in satisfying Pure Communication’s three short- term objectives as outlined in the Campaign Strategy. Through public relations tactics, Pure Communications will strategically craft aggressive, hands-on events and sponsorships that advance the “Building Bridges” campaign and directly reach out to our Thinker target market. To target the Thinkers most effectively, all public relations events and sponsorships will focus on educating this group of entry-level car consumers about on the Civic Hybrid’s high fuel-efficiency, and reliability and conventionality, as compared to the Prius. These events and sponsorships will ideally increase awareness of the Civic Hybrid, leading to higher sales, while elevating the Civic Hybrid to the hybrid vehicle-of- choice. Media Relations Strategy and Target Vehicle Selection The 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid “Building Bridges” Campaign begins in January 2008 with a low pulsing strategy. Heavy pulses of media saturation will first occur April 2008 with the campaign’s official kick-off date, since car consumers typically begin purchasing cars at this time. Heavy media pulses will continue through October, when consumer vehicle purchases typically decline. Our public relations tactics will act as supplements to our creative messages and will focus primarily on educating theThinkers about the Civic Hybrid’s competitive advantages, particularly reinforcing our print media’s hard-sell approach of the Civic Hybrid. We will encourage media to cover all public relations events by issuing press releases and kits, as well as by creating ties with local journalists specific to the geographic markets outlined in the Campaign Strategy and their national affiliates. Throughoutthe“BuildingBridges”campaign, Pure Communication will monitor public opinion towards the Civic Hybrid, Honda, and the environment by reading blog entries pertaining to these topics, conducting consumer polls, and hosting focus groups and surveys. We will also monitor media and current event coverage relevant to Honda Motor Co. and its competition, specifically the Prius, and will anticipate potential setbacks by devising a preemptive crisis management plan. Tactics: Primary Target Market The “Building Bridges” Tour The “Building Bridges” Tour will offer 47purecommunications publicrelations “ ” Public Relations will strategically craft aggressive, hands-on events and sponsorships that advance the campaign and give practical application to the campaign strategies.
  48. 48. knowledgeable, hands-on information about the Civic Hybrid’s competitive advantages, including fuel-efficiency, reliability, and conventionality. This full-day event will give potential Civic Hybrid purchasers the opportunity to test- drive the vehicle with a trained Honda technician. Throughout the day, renowned speakers with automobile industry or environmental background will address issues concerning American drivers. Topics include: rising gas prices, global warming and automobile emissions, commuting, and oil and Middle East instability. This event will tour metro areas similar to the geographical target markets listed in the Campaign Strategy, as these regions boast the highest numbers of hybrid vehicle purchases. Other factors influencing hybrid purchases that we tok into account when determining regionalty include: commute times, amount of traffic, city greenness, and jobs available for young working professionals. These would include cities and their immediate suburbs such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, are more. The “Building Bridges” Tour Kick-off will be held at the Honda Center, which is located at 2695 East Katella Avenue in Anaheim, California. This location is an ideal starting point for the “Building Bridges” Tour due to Honda’s large corporate presence in Southern California. Additionally, Civic Hybrid consumers are more likely than the average car consumers to live in the West. The “Building Bridges” Tour Kick-off is scheduled for Saturday, April 19, 2008, with doors opening at 10 a.m. Registration for the nationwide event will be conducted online beginning Wednesday, January 2, 2008 through the all-new Honda Civic Hybrid Web site. This Web site is accessible from a link on the existing Honda Web page: www.honda.com. We will focus on educating and informing ourThinkers as part of the cognitive campaign outlined in the Campaign Strategy. The “Building Bridges” Tour Press Conference A national press conference will be held on Monday,April 7, 2008 at the Honda Center in order to generate awareness and excitement for the upcoming “Building Bridges” Tour. This press conference will unveil the scheduled cities that our tour plans to visit, talk about the benefits of the Civic Hybrid, particularly in relation to the Prius, detail the speakers and events planned for the April 19 kick-off, and demonstrate how to register for the tour on the all-new Honda Civic Hybrid Web site. The “Building Bridges” Tour Local Press Kits To supplement this national press conference, press kits will be sent out to the local media of each city that the tour will visit at least three weeks prior to the “Building Bridges” Tour’s visit. These kits will contain a press release about the “Building Bridges” Tour, an objectives sheet, a fact sheet, and photos. An example of this press kit and a sample media contact list is at the end of the Public Relations section. While these press kits will increase awareness 48 purecommunications:buildingbridges “ ” The “Building Bridges” award will be given to innovative, forward-thinking college students who are making a difference in the world of inventing, engineering, or the environment.
  49. 49. of the Civic Hybrid, we hope that these press kits primarily generate hype for the “Building Bridges” Tour. The “Building Bridges” Award This prestigious award will be given to innovative, forward-thinking college students who make significant contributions in the fields of inventing, engineering, or the environment. Three national winners will be awarded for the 2008 ignagural year. Nominations for the award will be accepted on the Honda Civic Hybrid Web site beginning Wednesday, January 2 through Friday, March 21, 2008. These winners will be publicly honored at the “Building Bridges” Tour Kickoff at 2:00 p.m. on the Honda Center main stage. Each winner will personally address the audience before receiving their award. In addition, all winners will receive a new 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid. This award reflects Honda Motor Co.’s desire to be an innovative, forward-thinking business, while also increasing general awareness Civic Hybrid. Environmental Partnership For the “Building Bridges” Tour Kickoff, the City of Los Angeles Environmental Affairs Department (www.lacity.org/ead) will partner with Honda in presenting clear, knowledgeable information about the local environment to event attendees. In each city that the “Building Bridges” Tour visits, a different environmental organization willpartnerwithHondaforthatfull-dayevent. This partnerships will be mutually beneficial, offering environmental organizations and agencies increased awareness, while also branding Honda as an environmentally conscious and forward-thinking business. These partnerships will still be funded solely by American Honda Motor Co. Honda Civic Hybrid Web site: www.HondaCivicHybrid.com This site will be functional by Wednesday, January 2, 2008. Although our campaign does not experience heavy pulses until April 2008, this site will need to be ready prior to that kick-off date because it is cited in Honda press releases and other informational literature. This Web site will also allow users to enter nominees for the “Building Bridges” Awards. To increase the Web site’s traffic, Honda will create a link for it on the left-hand column of its automobile front-page: www.honda.com. All press releases and Honda literature will document this Web site. Because our target market actively seeks information, mass publicity of the site is unnecessary. This site will bestow our Thinkers with multiple avenues to seek additional knowledgeable, including: the mechanics of the Honda Civic Hybrid, environmental or volunteer opportunities, a blog where prospective buyers can talk to other owners about their concerns or questions, and recent world news on anything related to hybrids, such as rising gas prices, the environment, Middle East instability, the car industry, etc. This Honda Civic Hybrid site will offer accurate information in a knowledgeable and professional manner, catering to the informational needs of our Thinkers. But, this Web site also will act as informal, conversation-like hub, thus differing from the current Civic Hybrid Web site that offers technical information. OurThinkers not only like to seek out information in the decision- making process but also like to seek out various opinions when considering a high- involvement purchase. 49purecommunications publicrelations

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