The estimated $50 million campaign for the first Honda-designed sport-utility vehicle began with a Jan. 24 spread in the paper. Then came the 60-second Super Bowl spot.
Today, Honda steers CR-V onto the paper's Web site (http://
www.usatoday.com) for an elaborate weeklong set of appearances across Web pages, including a clever gambit in which the CR-V drives through a column of news briefs.
The $19,000 CR-V goes on sale in the U.S. Feb. 5, and a light TV schedule on sports and cable programming will run-due to limited supply at dealerships-until a four-week blitz begins Feb. 24. A regular launch magazine campaign starts about the same time; outdoor ads start in March.
Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif., created the advertising, Web and direct-marketing campaign as well as dealer promotion materials and brochures, marking Honda's most integrated launch ever.
COMPARABLE TO CIVIC EFFORT
VP-Management Supervisor Joan Egan said spending will be comparable to the redesigned 1996 Civic, which Honda supported with $51.6 million, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The ad campaign has its origins in a positive review USA Today ran last year on the CR-V, a carlike SUV whose sales have swept past the funky Toyota RAV4 in the Japanese market (the Super Bowl spot opened with a 2-second shot of the paper's review). Honda hopes to produce 60,000 CR-Vs for the U.S. this year.
"The importance goes beyond sheer units," Ms. Egan said. "It's Honda's first