×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Honda Taps the Grinch, Football and ‘Today’ to Drive Sales

To make use of the famous Grinch, Honda harnessed an ad campaign that looked a lot like the character’s heart – at first blush, two sizes too small; but upon further scrutiny, potentially larger than life.

The automaker’s annual “Happy Honda Days” promotion has been around for more than a decade. To draw attention to it this year, Honda teamed up with NBCUniversal’s Universal Pictures and won the rights to use the depiction of the miserly Grinch from current revival of “The Grinch” from the studio and Illumination in its commercials. But rather than spreading out ads featuring the green character for weeks and weeks, Honda has tied him to a campaign that lasts just a few days and runs across both TV and social media – a reflection of the need to use multiple media venues to reach the modern consumer.

“I don’t think there’s any one component that is ‘the one and only,'” says Susie Rossick, assistant vice president of Honda Marketing, in an interview. “I would never go all digital, but I would never go all television. It’s all about finding that sweet spot” that generates attention from broader audiences.

Honda kicked off its Grinch-fueled effort on Sunday, by running ads during Sunday football games and in more than 200 local markets showing the character canceling the “Happy Honda Days” event / On Monday, the character “took over” Honda’s Twitter feed and began letting loose with a stream of unhappy comments. Fans who followed were directed to check out the 10 a.m. hour of NBC’s “Today,” where they are slated to discover the grumpy fellow deciding to let the Honda event proceed.

Honda’s Rossick says she hopes the campaign helps the company make more of an impression at a time when many other automobile manufacturers are running their own ad efforts. “This is going to make us stand out among all the other campaigns that are running right now.”

Even so, the company isn’t leaving much to chance. A separate ad has been running for several weeks touting “Happy Honda Days” in a different way. Those commercials show classic toys like a version of the popular Steve Majors character from “The Six Million Dollar Man” or the Care Bears talking up various Honda models.

Honda struck its partnership with NBC during TV’s annual “upfront” market, when the major U.S. networks try to sell the bulk of their ad inventory for the coming season.

More TV

  • Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday

    Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of 2018

    Just hours after “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a message on social media that said he “really [didn’t] want to be on this Earth anymore,” he was absent from the final 2018 live sketches of the late-night sketch comedy show. But although Davidson did not take part in the sketches or appear [...]

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

  • Vanity Fair Review

    TV Review: 'Vanity Fair'

    There’s something comforting about the predictability of a period piece novel adaptation in the Masterpiece Theater tradition. Knowing the story, or even just the rhythms of the genre, there are rarely many surprises. The women will toss off witticisms and cry careful, pretty tears; the men will steel their jaws and declare their love, ideally [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content