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Honda courts kids

Honda UK has taken an innovative step in raising brand awareness by marketing its products directly to children.

The importer has produced a brochure for its forthcoming FR-V designed for four- to 10-year-olds to read while their parents test drive the vehicle.

The carmaker says brands become cool or boring at a young age so it is keen to introduce the Honda brand to children and allow them to form their own opinions.

Supermarkets long ago recognised the ‘pester power’ of children in influencing their parents’ buying decisions. Honda’s move coincided with a TV campaign during the Christmas holidays – a period when the price of taking ad space falls – which saw it take over entire breaks between popular programmes to show its ‘Cog’, ‘Grr’ and ‘Everyday’ Civic adverts.

“We aim to build on the hyper-awareness created by our adverts to keep people talking about the brand,” says a spokesman. The series of adverts is said to have been well received by viewers – Honda sent out thousands of DVDs to customers requesting copies.

Last year, Honda took over an ad break during the Brazilian Grand Prix to show the full length version of ‘Cog’. But presenting a compilation like this is a first for Honda and, it believes, for any other advertiser. The company is believed to spend £22m a year on advertising.

For 2005 Honda is planning more “wacky and crazy” adverts. The first will be ‘Together’, currently showing in cinemas. This animation shows a family and dog at home, at the beach and driving in a six-seater FR-V.

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