Honda finds the right Fit for out-of-home

Boards for the new model of Honda Fit represent the biggest OOH investment for a campaign around the sub-compact car to date.

Honda has filled billboards across Canada with sporting equipment, furniture and more to promote the new model 2015 Fit.

The OOH boards are meant to tie into the larger campaign around the car, which emphasizes how much space it has for a subcompact vehicle.

The first execution in the new OOH campaign, with media by PHD, creative from Grip Limited, and Astral Outdoor and CBS Outdoor as vendors, was the one located near the corner of Richmond and Church Streets in Toronto, where a giant funnel is overflowing with actual objects like bikes, coolers and chairs leading down into a Fit parked at street level.

David Crichton, creative partner at Grip Limited, says that idea got the ball rolling to the “inside/outside” idea present on many of the other boards, where a photo of a loaded up Fit on the left side of the board is compared with a real layout of all the items that are inside.

IMAG1456[3]Crichton tells MiC that in the interest of cutting back on installation time and cost, some of the boards feature 2D cut-outs illustrating the same concept. In total, there are 20 boards spread across Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City.

“You could blanket cities and go for GRPs by doing 600 boards,” he says. “We took the tactic of going into key markets and create spectacles that people will notice. People [stopped to watch] while it was being built. Using outdoor, we could have put up a statement on the board saying how much square footage it has, or we could actually demonstrate it.”

Crichton says the campaign is the biggest OOH endeavour Honda has done in years, adding that the platform has only been used sporadically for the company in the past, and on a relatively basic level. Stephen Wendt, VP client service director at PHD Canada, says that the spending on the OOH portion for this campaign has doubled from the last Honda Fit launch in 2008.

The locations in the campaign were chosen based on commuter traffic, but also on the context of who is likely to see them. For example, the ads showing how much furniture can fit inside is next to Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway on the way to an Ikea location. In Leaside, a more family-oriented Toronto neighborhood, the ad features outdoor camping equipment.

“We do want to be a bit youthful in the tone, but not because want to relate only to young people,” Crichton says. “You’ll have everyone from singles needing a subcompact in the city all the way up to boomers whose kids have left and need a car that they can take antiquing.”

The larger campaign for the new Fit also includes broadcast spots, digital ads and a “Packing List” campaign on social media for the brand’s activation at the Osheaga Music Festival over the summer. Using photos that were something of a precursor to the OOH boards, it showed what different festival attendees might load up in the car for a trip to Montreal.

There is also a POS piece, where Honda dealerships in Canada have been given a cardboard box with images of the objects featured in the OOH ads on the sides, to give an in-store representation of how much can fit inside the vehicle.