Honda Campaign Touts Power, Reliability

American Honda Monday launches three 30-second TV spots for the 2002 CR-V compact SUV.

The ads, via AOR Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, poke fun at the exploits of sports extremists. One shows a kayaker running white water. He shoots the rapids until he rides over a cataract, and finds himself shooting air. Then he goes vertical, plummets, flailing and screaming, finally crashing his broken bateau on a rock. Cut to a couple watching from the bank: “That’s not too bright,” says the guy, loading gear into their CR-V. Tag: “Introducing a vehicle designed for your adventures in reality. The all-new, more powerful CR-V.”

Print and outdoor executions focus on such features as the step-up in power from last year’s 146hp to 160hp for the 2002 model, real time 4WD and five-passenger cabin. Print includes such text as “It’s like a monster in a horror movie. It keeps coming back meaner and stronger.”

The Torrance, Calif.-based company wouldn’t disclose spend on the campaign. Last year, Honda spent $40 million in media against the vehicle. For the first eight months of 2001, the company spent $48.7 million on the CR-V, per CMR.