Rubin Postaer Is Still Wild About Honda SUV

LOS ANGELES The second of two “wild man” Honda Pilot spots by Rubin Postaer and Associates breaks today. The first ad of the campaign broke Sept. 21.

Both TV commercials follow a suburban family in a slice-of-life documentary style, the mother explaining matter-of-factly that the Pilot is handy because her husband was raised by wolves and must routinely return to the woods to commune with nature.

“Pilot was such a successful launch . . . we’re playing off that momentum,” said Larry Postaer, executive vice president and director of creative services at the independent shop in Santa Monica, Calif. “We don’t need a hard sell, but play to what we know from the research, that the car scratched the itch for the great outdoors. You and I know they end up being driven on Wilshire Boulevard. But there is this urge out there. We thought the analogy was pretty funny and eminently watchable.”

Postaer said that the father-wolf figure of both spots positions the off-road vehicle with distinctly urban humor, tweaking the city-dwelling dreamer, but that the campaign “will work either way. It will speak to the outdoorsman in all of us, showing that the Pilot is built for the great outdoors.”

RPA’s Bill Hagelstein, executive vice president and chief operating officer, contrasted the campaign with the theme developed for Honda’s other SUVs. “As successful as the vehicle is, Honda does not enjoy the kind of awareness that it should for having a legitimate midsize SUV,” Hagelstein said. “So we’ve got something that’s very arresting, very impactful, and we’re packaging it in a way that gives Honda a unique way to talk about its midsize SUV, somewhat similar to what we’re doing with the small SUV with the CR-V campaign.”

American Honda Motor Co. sold 77,600 Pilots after a $45 million advertising push last year, followed by an additional $26 million media spend in the first half of 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.