Honda, Acura launch CPO ad campaign

Marketing

Honda and its luxury sibling brand Acura are launching a national ad campaign for used cars and SUVs as the automaker ramps up its certified pre-owned program to help customers facing rising new-car prices and dealers trying to improve profitability.

“We’re providing the strongest support we ever have for the CPO program, and customers are responding to it and dealers are enjoying the benefits of it,” Jay Joseph, division head of marketing for American Honda, told Automotive News at the NADA Show.

The two Japanese brands are riding an industry sales record for CPO vehicles in 2019 at 2.8 million, with Honda posting an 8.6 percent gain from 2018 and Acura up more than 20 percent, executives said. Strong lease returns should continue the trend this year.

After supporting the program last year with stronger warranties and additional complimentary services on CPO vehicles — including oil changes — American Honda is adding significant marketing dollars.

Ads that started last week on network and cable TV include two 30-second spots, one for each brand, and shorter clips for Facebook. Honda did not say how much it’s spending on the campaign.

The Honda spot, “At Peace,” features an office worker looking online for Honda CPO vehicles when her cubicle is transformed into an island beach with a coconut drink and a two-piece band. The ad underscores the safety of the brand’s stronger warranty, free oil changes and inspection reports via the web.

“Wherever You Go” plays up Acura’s sportier image with driving scenes on twisting roads and trails. It ends on a street lined with Acura technicians as the vehicles pass. “It’s like we’re with you, wherever you go,” says the closing voice-over.

Chase Smith, chairman of the Honda National Dealer Advisory Board and president of Russell & Smith Automotive Group in Houston, said in an interview last month that CPO sales are a major focus for the automaker as new-car sales decline and dealers seek to address vehicle affordability.

“They’re putting a lot more Tier 1 advertising dollars to promote the advantages of those certified vehicles,” Smith said. “And sales is also committed to continue to support incentivized rates on certified.”

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