VP OF ADVERTISING AND PR,
THE NUMBERS: The volume Honda brand is winning market share, which reached 10.3% at the end of September, up from 9.9% a year ago. Honda's CR-V outsold Toyota's RAV4 small SUV in the first nine months of 2009 with 142,906 units -- or 36,000 more. In measured-media terms, Honda spent $831 million in 2008. In the first half of 2009, measured spending was down 10.4% to $359 million.
THE KEY LIEUTENANTS: Tom Peyton, senior manager of national advertising at Honda brand, and his counterpart at Acura Susie Rossick; Jenny Howell, manager-interactive marketing of both brands.
THE CHALLENGE: Honda's biggest uphill battle is to sharply define the upmarket Acura brand and really differentiate it from Honda as well as outside competitors. Acura lost a tad of U.S. share to 1% from 1.1% since September of 2008, but its sales volume slid 34% -- greater than the industry average. The launch of the new Honda Accord Crosstour could prove tricky after a recent pre-launch Facebook flap -- some visitors to the car's page panned its design.
THE AGENCIES: Independent RPA, Santa Monica, does it all for both brands: creative, media and digital.