RPA Starts Up Honda’s Insight

Dual-Purpose Commercial Sings Praises of Gas-Electric Vehicle
LOS ANGELES–Sixties rhetoric is shown to be no match for ’90s practicality in an upcoming TV spot for American Honda Motor Co.’s new Insight gas-electric hybrid vehicle.
The 30-second spot from Rubin Postaer and Associates, Santa Monica, Calif., breaks in mid-December to coincide with the car’s launch.
Part of an estimated $5 million campaign, the ad shows the Insight pulling up next to a vintage Volkswagen minibus. In a voiceover, Richard Dreyfuss intones: “You can express your opinion about the environment on your car”–as the camera scans the VW’s green-friendly bumper stickers–“or you can do it with your car,” as the sleek Insight leaves the bus in its wake.
The gas-electric vehicle, priced at under $20,000, is touted as “the most fuel-efficient car in the world,” managing 70 miles per gallon on the highway, and 61 in the city.
The spot itself is a sort of hybrid–a cross between an image ad and a product ad. It even uses a red “Honda Thinking” logo instead of the blue Honda block typical of the car maker’s product ads. “It’s not just feel-good corporate advertising. It’s the advertising we’re using to sell the car,” said executive vice president/creative services director Larry Postaer.
The spot targets a mass audience and will air on networks during prime time. A supporting print ad will run in newsweeklies and other magazines, said senior vice president/management supervisor Joan Egan.
Three other print ads will take aim at a young, technologically savvy, environmentally conscious target audience, Egan said. K