Marketing and Honda Cr-v

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Honda’s Market Strategies
for the New CR-V
Jayne Diaz
BUS 620: Managerial Marketing
Professor David Kalicharan
February 6, 2012

Honda’s Market Strategies for the New CR-V

The 2012 Honda CR-V recently came out with a commercial that spoofed the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The advertising and marketing strategies for this product will be analyzed in this paper. To begin, the paper will discuss some of the benefits that were highlighted about the new CR-V within the commercial. Next, market segmentation of the product from the commercial will be illustrated. Lastly, recommendations for improving the commercial to possibly influence more sales will be brought up. Bringing back the past was a fun and creative way for marketing the Honda CR-V.
In 1986, the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, starring Matthew Broderick, was released and became an instant classic. It was a film that resonated with the youth of that day, as it showed a young high school student, Ferris, faking a life threatening illness to take the day off from school. Ferris convinces his best friend Cameron and girlfriend Sloane to join him for a fun-filled day of debauchery. Ferris persuades Cameron to let them use his father’s Ferrari as their mode of transportation for the day, driving all around to see the sites of Chicago.

Fast forward twenty-five years, and those that remembered the movie back then now have families and careers. Honda’s marketing team came up with the idea to spoof the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day off while marketing the CR-V, their newly redesigned sport utility vehicle. In their current commercial, which debuted Super Bowl Sunday, it features Matthew Broderick reprising the role of his infamous character from the movie.

Benefits of the Honda CR-V

The commercial does show some benefits of the new Honda CR-V, that may attract some potential buyers. There are some high tech features that were highlighted in the ad, such as bluetooth for the phone and a built-in navigation system that also displays text messages when linked to a mobile device. This doesn’t really differentiate it from the competition though. The competition, other non-luxury cars, has had these features for a couple years now.

The commercial does little to highlight the versatility built into the vehicle, whether transporting passengers or cargo.  Honda’s previous marketing strategies talked about using the CR-V to accomplish your “leap list”, a bucket list of  things you want to do before you settle down in life. The commercial appears to show the many places the CR-V can transport you to. Broderick drives around in his CR-V, after calling in sick to play hooky from work, and goes to an amusement park, sings karaoke, goes to the beach, a museum, horse races, etc. The fact is, transportation from point A to point B can be accomplished in any number of vehicles. The Honda CR-V is not differentiated from its competitors in the commercial. “Different individual customers have different needs and thus attach different degrees of importance to the benefits offered by different products” (Mullins & Walker, 2010). However, firms will design advertising and marketing campaigns so as to maximize their effectiveness. Our results suggest that in industries in which products are fairly similar, firms will aim their marketing and advertising efforts at heightening "perceived" product differences. Indeed, if the product does not lend itself to true differentiation, advertising becomes the necessary medium for influencing demand (von der Fehr & Stevik, 1998, p. 125).

Market Segmentation

The car commercial was clearly a spoof of Ferris Beuller’s Day Off as it began with Broderick in bed pretending to be sick. It seems like the firm was marketing towards the generation that watched and remembers the movie - current 30 to 40 year olds. The Honda CR-V illustrates the perfect “family car”, and between the ages of 30’s and 40’s is...
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