Pitch Perfect: Honda’s best advertisements of all time

You meet the nicest people researching the brand’s marketing history 

Source: Driving.ca

Much like VW and its famous ads through the ages, Honda has been making marketing plays that pull on all the right heartstrings for decades.

From enlisting heavy-hitting Hollywood actors to star in its Super Bowl commercials; to, on the other end of the spectrum, using simplistic animations, Honda has long successfully coaxed us, commoners, into buying into its quirky TV ads and print concepts.

When Honda first entered the North America market in the early ’60s with its motorcycles, it went with a straight-forward slogan: You meet the nicest people on a Honda. The advert was created by Grey Advertising, a now 103-year-old ad agency that had offices in both New York and Japan at the time.

The inaugural ad ran in the U.S., but a similar marketing concept was also released in Asia. There were slight modifications to the illustrations over the following years, but the point Honda was trying to make in all market segments was clear: motorcycles aren’t just for hooligans; nice, kind people ride them, too.  

Today, Honda remains one of those brands that speaks to its customers in a kind and direct way, no matter where they live in the world. Scroll on to see some of the best ads from the Japanese automaker.

You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda

1962, print

In 1962, Honda made its American debut with its You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda campaign. Motorcycles were already a popular mode of transportation in Asia, but in the States, bikes were seen differently, as toys that rough folks rode.

But the campaign, which was used for a decade to follow and is still one of Honda’s most iconic, was able to successfully change the narrative around motorbikes and popularize them in the mainstream automotive sector. If Santa is the kind of guy who rides a bike, why shouldn’t you be? 

Enough Said

1974, print

Rather than using an ad agency to do the heavy lifting and come up with some catchy jingle, Honda let actual reviews speak for them. The 1974 ad for the Civic took actual quotes from journalists at leading automotive publications including Car & DriverMotor Trend and Hot Rod and used them as testimonials.


1982, print

Honda playfully poked fun at its competition in the ’80s, and while it didn’t name any names, the ad did do some quick math about how some of its own vehicles from years previous, including the Prelude, Civic, and Accord, had been standing the test of time. 

Then and Now

1988, print

Honda’s promo for the Civic in 1988 riffed on how far its design had come, from a two-door hatchback to a spacious and modern (at the time) compact car. The juxtaposition of the two vehicles, decades apart, was perfectly on point, even if it’s kind of comical today. 


1991, print

This time, instead of teasing its competition, Honda took a jab at car owners, particularly ones with custom plates. The double-page ad featured 62 vanity license plates, which seemed harmless, but across the bottom, it read “Instead of trying to give your car a personality, maybe you should try a car that already comes with one.”

The Cog

2003, television

Building the set for Honda’s The Cog television ad was probably ridiculously fun. The concept is based on a Rube Goldberg machine, a contraption organized with a bunch of parts in a complicated manner that interacts with one another in order to complete an otherwise mundane task.

In the ad, various parts of a Honda Accord roll, tap, knock, lift and blow one another along a pathway that’s like an automotive version of dominoes.

Game Day

2012, television

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the ’80s flick where actor Matthew Broderick fakes being sick and takes the day off high school to gallivant around Chicago with two of his bffs, was a hit then and has stood the test of time so far. So much so that for Super Bowl 2012, Honda hired the actor to go back to his Bueller roots in an ad for the Honda CR-V that mimics the movie plot.


2014, television

In the U.K., Honda released a TV ad celebrating its many years of innovation. The concept was straightforward: a birds-eye-view of a pair of hands manipulating a variety of miniature Honda-made machines including motorcycles, cars, robots and even a lawnmower, on a white background. Despite its simplicity, the ad was awarded Best Automotive Commercial in 2014 by The One Club, a non-profit org that celebrates marketing creatives.

Honda Canada Pre-Sold All 100 Civic Type R Limited Editions Completely Online in 4 Minutes

Source: The Drive

Rocking a bright Phoenix Yellow paint job and lighter BBS wheels, only 100 copies of the 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition were allocated for Canada. Perhaps Honda should’ve set aside more for our friends in the Great White North because all 100, like floor seats at a Drake concert (remember concerts?), sold out within minutes. And all without the intervention of a traditional dealer. 

Yep, instead of leaving things up to its dealer network, Honda Canada decided to pre-sell the Limited Edition hot hatch completely through an online portal. The virtual order books opened up May 21 at 1 p.m. ET and by 1:04 p.m., all 100 build slots were spoken for. This is in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, each reservation’s required $1,000 deposit, and the fact that Honda hasn’t actually announced a final price for the car yet, proving two things we already kinda knew: Type R fever is real and much of the buying public is very ready for online car sales. 

Speaking to Canada’s Automotive News, Motoinsight co-founder and CEO Andrew Tai said, “It continues to impress me that customers under the right circumstances are willing to commit sight unseen to vehicles and do so online.” 

Motoinsight was the company responsible for powering the limited Type R’s online sales portal. 

“The consumer trends are always moving in this direction. We saw it all around us even pre-COVID. I think COVID accelerated the adoption of online purchasing experiences across demographics and automotive is not immune from that,” Tai continued.

Despite what its dealers might think of all this, online car sales don’t sound like they’ll be going away for the automaker’s Canadian arm. “This was obviously a very successful program for us, and we’ll take that into consideration for future sales campaigns,” said Honda Canada Assistant Vice President of Sales and Marketing Steve Hui.

Tai adds, however, that brick-and-mortar dealerships will still have their place and purpose. “I want to be very clear that we are not predicting [the end of dealerships] and everything goes online. This is just a trend where customers are doing more online. I think consumers ultimately want an in-store experience and there is an important role for the dealer to play.”

Even with the advent of Tesla’s direct sales, so-called “legacy manufacturers” like Honda have historically shied away from selling cars online in order to keep its dealers happy. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the game significantly, though. If the global health crisis is leaving us with any permanent silver linings, hopefully, a less painful car-buying experience is one of them.

Honda plant in Alliston shifts production to help donate PPEs to front-line workers

Source: GlobalNews

BARRIE — Honda Canada has joined forces with Georgian College to create personal protective equipment (PPEs) for local front-line workers.

The PPEs will be distributed to Stevenson Memorial Hospital and long-term care homes in Alliston.

The automotive manufacturing plant is using 3D technology typically used to print car parts to create over 450 face shields for medical staff during the pandemic.

The Alliston plant is one of five Honda facilities in North America refocusing production to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Honda facilities across the province have donated over 45-thousand PPEs, including gloves, face shields, N95 masks, and other protective gear to Ontario hospitals.


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Dalt’s Honda

Honda Canada Builds Nine-Millionth Vehicle in Ontario

Source: MRO

Honda Canada Inc. (HCI) hit the milestone of Honda of Canada Mfg.’s (HCM) producing the nine-millionth vehicle at its manufacturing facility in Ontario.

Honda Canada Inc. has now been in Canada for 50 years of operations and 34 years of vehicle production. Since 2013, on average over 57 percent of HCI vehicles sold in Canada were built in Canada.

“These milestones not only showcase the success of our products but the dedication, capability and collaboration of our Honda associates and dealerships across the country,” says Dave Gardner, President and CEO, Honda Canada Inc. “We are very proud of how we’ve grown, how we’ve invested in Canada and the fact that so many Canadians are part of the Honda family. I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to our success and I’m looking forward to our bright future here in Canada.”

Honda built its first vehicle in Canada in 1986 and since has added a second vehicle production facility and an engine manufacturing plant. In 2014, Honda invested $857 million in technologies and processes to modernize its manufacturing capabilities in preparation for production as the global lead plant for the 10th generation Honda Civic. Today, Honda’s investment in Canadian manufacturing facilities has grown to more than $4.2 billion. Also, Honda Canada buys $2.1 billion in goods annually from Canadian-based suppliers.

Models built at Honda’s Canadian auto plants:

  • Honda Accord Sedan
  • Honda Civic Coupe, Sedan and Hatchback
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Honda CR-V
  • Honda Pilot
  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Acura EL
  • Acura CSX
  • Acura MDX
  • Acura ZDX

Honda Canada donates to United Way

 Photo provided by Douglas Landsborough, Marketing and Communications Specialist,
United Way of Simcoe Muskoka.

The United way of Simcoe Muskoka has received a large donation from the Japanese associates of Honda Canada Manufacturing.

On January 13th, some of the representatives visited the charity and donated $849.00, continuing the 10-year tradition.

Douglas Landsborough, the Marketing and Communications Specialist for United Way said that they are thankful that Honda donates to the charity.

Landsborough said that for several years when the Japanese workers come to the area they always donate money to the organization. “They come and do some fundraising events every year which is really great.”

He said that Honda raised money this year by doing a silent auction and donated all the money to the charity.

Landsborough said that the money raised will go towards the United Way community fund, the urgent needs fund and it will also fund multi-year collaborative cross-sector projects that will be starting up this year.

2020 Honda Civic Sport Touring First Test: Even Better With a Hatch

Source: Motortrend.com

2020 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring on the road

Take one look at the 2020 Honda Civic hatchback, and you’ll either find its robotic-looking exterior polarizing or look past it. If you did the latter, congratulations: You’ve stumbled upon the best iteration of the popular compact car. In addition to subtle styling tweaks toning down its looks, the range-topping 2020 Honda Civic Sport Touring is now available with a six-speed manual transmission, expanding its appeal to a broader range of consumers. We’ve got our hands on this exact model to see how it performs and if you should consider one as a daily driver.

Simply Entertaining

Since its debut as a 2016 model, the Honda Civic has remained the benchmark in the compact segment because of its exceptional chassis tuning. That remains true with the 2020 Civic hatchback, especially in the Sport and Sport Touring models equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels shod in 235/40R18 tires. On the daily commute, the Civic rides superbly, adeptly absorbing imperfections and uneven surfaces; even if you hit a pothole while taking a corner, it stays composed. The cabin remains quiet, too, with little road- and wind noise entering the interior.

Practical Solutions

For its size, the 2020 Honda Civic hatchback is incredibly practical. It has plenty of usable space with its 60/40 seatbacks folded, two mobile device tray under the center stack, and a configurable center console. Passenger space is equally useful; front and rear passengers have plenty of head- and legroom, making the Civic an excellent road trip vehicle. Quibbles? The rear window’s angle limits your ability to stack or carry tall items upright behind the rear seats.

All 2020 Honda Civic hatchbacks come standard with the Honda Sensing driver assistance suite. Lane keep assist does a great job preventing the vehicle from drifting into another lane. Its centring feature, on the other hand, gets confused when one lane splits into two. Adaptive cruise control leaves just the right distance between you and the vehicle ahead, and it works well together with the lane keep assist on a well-marked highway.

2020 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring front three quarter

Still The One

It’s easy to love the 2020 Honda Civic, especially in hatchback form because of its practicality and excellent road manners. Sure, it’s got an unconventional shape, but clever packaging ensures practicality isn’t sacrificed. No other compact car is as multi-talented as the Honda Civic hatchback, and that’s why it’s at the top of its class. Many automakers have tried and a few have gotten close, but none have succeeded in dethroning the Civic to date.

Honda Details Tweaks for the 2020 CR-V SUV

Honda Canada has provided pricing and details of the changes in store for the 2020 Honda CR-V SUV

Image result for 2020 honda cr v

Honda Canada today released details regarding the changes that await its 2020 Honda CR-V. In store for the SUV are visual revisions and the addition of more standard safety functions. 

For starters, both the front and back of the CR-V have gotten some revisions. The large front openings for the available anti-fog lights are now integrated in the bumpers. On the Sport and EX-L versions these are round, while on the Touring and Black Edition variants they are horizontal rectangle-shaped LEDs.

Image result for 2020 honda cr v

In back, each version get new darkened lights. The chrome accents below the hatchback window has been reworked to fit better with the window itself. The Sport, Touring and Black edition versions get new exhaust tips and give the CR-V a sportier look. The effect is further enhanced by the addition of new 19-inch alloy wheels. Also on the menu are new colours available with the Sport, EX-L and Touring versions: Sonic Grey and Radiant Red.

The Sport version, which replaces the EX, and the Black Edition, revised for 2020, remain exclusive to Canada.

In terms of safety, all 2020 CR-Vs now get the Honda Sensing package that now includes an impact reducing braking system, forward collision alert and pedestrian detection, a lane departure attenuation and warning system, adaptive cruise control that works a low speeds, lane keep assist, blind spot monitor and rear transversal traffic alert, as well as automatic high beams.

Image result for 2020 honda cr v

Inside, the central console has been redesigned to offer more storage space. The Touring and Black Edition models now include wireless smartphone charging. 

Honda Cars, Plants Continue to Get Cleaner

Source: The Car Guide

Accord hybride

With all the public and media attention on climate change these days, Honda’s latest annual environmental report for North America couldn’t come at a better time.

In the 46-page document, the Japanese automaker details how it keeps increasing the efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of its vehicles and the plants that build them. More specifically, car production by Honda in North America generated 5.3 percent less CO2 than in the previous year. Since 2011, there has been an improvement of 27 percent.

Total solid waste from manufacturing activity was reduced 4.2 percent, the lowest level in five years. According to Honda, the company’s plants continued to operate with less than one percent of waste sent to landfill. Meanwhile, total water use in manufacturing fell 3.9 percent.

When it comes to parts and service, 99 percent of the waste from Honda’s warehousing and distribution centres is currently being recycled. As a result, the CO2 emissions of North American service parts shipments fell 2.6 percent from a year ago and have been reduced 47.5 percent over the past decade.

What about Honda vehicles? For model year 2018, the unadjusted average fuel economy of the company’s automobile fleet rose 1.3 percent and was 18 percent higher the industry average. In terms of CO2 emissions, the numbers are 1.3 percent and 15.1 percent, respectively.

As previously reported, Honda is now the fuel economy leader after relegating Mazda to second place, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Honda’s ultimate goal is to voluntarily reduce its total corporate CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2000 levels.