HONDA'S NEW ACCORD TO GET $100 MIL MARKETING SUPPORT: CORPORATE BRANDING CAMPAIGN ALSO A PART OF EFFORT

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American Honda Motor Co. will spend more than $100 million on advertising and marketing during the first year of the redesigned 1998 Accord, said a company executive who declined to be named.

The campaign will use the ad tag "An Accord like no other" to pitch the larger car.

"The advertising program is much broader than any we've done in the past," said Gerry Rubin, chairman-CEO of agency Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif.

The marketing program, reviewed at a press event last week, will include ads, Web promotions, and direct and ethnic marketing.

Honda's advertising will emphasize what the company said are four improved attributes of the new car: interior space; performance; quietness; and touches such as wood and leather on upper-end models and automatic climate control.

ENVIRONMENTAL BRAND

Mr. Rubin said a subtle corporate brand campaign, portraying Honda as environmentally friendly, will be folded into advertising for the new Accord.

Honda is particularly targeting existing Accord owners. Promotions have been sent to 400,000 owners, including those coming off two-year leases.

Honda's Web site will heavily promote the Accord, and the marketer is considering use of other Web sites to advertise its new flagship.

"We need to get awareness [of the new Accord] going quick," Mr. Rubin said.

Honda sold 382,298 Accords in 1996 and Honda does not want to skip a beat in "our bread and butter car," said Dick Colliver, exec VP-sales.

Mr. Washington is a staff reporter at Automotive News.

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