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Honda humour is infectious

Honda's advertising campaign for the new Civic range will harness the internet-driven “viral” e-mail strategy used to promote its HR-V sports utility vehicle.

At around £100,000 the production costs were about one fifth that of a 30-second TV commercial.

The pioneering alternative sequence of 10 “e-clip” mini-sketches relied on humour for its impact. It has 'infected' more than 7m people throughout Europe, spreading rapidly from an initial internal Honda audience of 500.

Attached to e-mails, the silent video clips carry understated advertising sign-posting, displaying just the Internet address –

After visiting the website potential buyers viewed and sent the clips to kindred spirits, a particularly effective “seeding” process in corporate offices.

Chris Brown, Honda Motor Europe's advertising manager, said: “ It hit people on office Pcs. running riot through major companies. It hit all the Fortune 500 companies with clips flying all over the place.”

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