Honda's two targets

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While families remain the prime target of American Honda Motor Co.'s Odyssey minivan, the first total redo of the popular model since 1998 offers more features to attract a secondary target-empty nesters.

"There's so much new content in this vehicle, it gives us the chance not to just target soccer moms," said David Smith, creative director of Honda's agency, independent RPA, Santa Monica, Calif. RPA used the theme of "back to the drawing board," with sketches of the Odyssey's features coming to life and the tag "A great idea made better."

Mr. Peyton said competitors have done well wooing buyers from dual targets.

Honda is also shifting gears on its media buy for the introduction, with more national TV and less spot. "We do want the reach and this is a very much reach-oriented launch," said Tom Peyton, national advertising manager of Honda brand.

The Odyssey is Honda first major launch of the year. Of the $218 million in measured media Honda spent in the first half of the year, $111 million was in spot TV and $43 million was in national TV, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

The Odyssey will hit the road, too; it will be displayed on a Family Mall Tour in top markets in January and February and a zoo tour next spring.

Honda staged a buzz promotion in Times Square on Sept. 22 in a deal with that will continue through Dec. 15. Passersby had pictures taken with the minivan, which were broadcast on Reuters' outdoor sign.

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