Honda Dealer Group Launches Review

Hopes to complete the search by December

Honda dealers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have banded together and they’re looking for an ad agency.

The TriHonda Dealer Group has an annual media budget of $40 million. The assignment includes both creative responsibilities (TV ads, digital ads, social media marketing, sponsorships) and media planning and buying, according to Rob Sabbagh, president of the group. The work will complement national and regional ads from the American Honda Motor Co. and individual dealer efforts. “We’re missing that tier two” advertising, Sabbagh explained.

“This is the first time that there has been a TriHonda advertising group covering all the major markets in metro-New York, Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey since 1986,” added Sabbagh. “Now we will really have the power to create great impact in the marketplace.” In terms of revenue, the account is worth an estimated $2-3 million annually.

Sabbagh, who runs a dealership in Brooklyn, is managing the search, which he hopes to complete by the end of the year. The contract for the assignment will span two years. In making its selection, the group will consider past experience in building brand awareness, such as in retail categories, Sabbagh said. Car brand experience, however, is not mandatory.

The bulk of the 60 dealers in the group are in New York and New Jersey, with just five of them in Connecticut.

Past advertising for a smaller group of dealers in four New York City boroughs and Long Island has been handled by Della Femina Rothschild Jeary & Partners in New York and Sabbagh expects the agency to participate in the review. Della Femina executives could not immediately be reached for comment.