Funny Business with Jane Wells

Honda Ads are Funny, But Do They Sell Cars?


Honda last week reported its best quarterly operating profitin over two years, thanks in large part to a 38 percent jump in deliveries in Asia. The company hopes to improve sales in the U.S. through a variety of initiatives, including better inventory management of the subcompact Honda Fit. It will also launch a hybrid version of the Fit in Japan later this year.

But how do you market the Fit? In the U.S., the small hatchback appears to be geared (heh, heh) toward attendees of ComiCon.

Sometimes the Fit is a "fierce defender" with six airbags!

An anti gas-guzzler of epic proportions!

Cooler than Tetris (in German!)!

Not so in Australia.

Down under, the Fit is called the Honda Jazz. Even the name gives off a completely different vibe. Honda is engaging the Aussie public in a marketing campaign which challenges them to determine "How much (fill in the blank) can you pack in a Jazz?"

The resulting YouTube videos show us how many hipsters, rappers, ninja warriors and bodybuilders can be shoehorned into the seemingly tiny car.

The videos are kind of funny, especially when the ninja raise and lower the power windows through sheer will.

You can watch them here.

They are also occasionally off point.

The ad showing "how much massive", or bodybuilders, could fit into a Jazz was so distracting I paid no attention to the car. How tiny is that guy's Speedo? That...woman...

Do these viral videos sell cars?

Sell anything?

This is what marketing departments like to do these days—build online buzz. Like the Old Spice Guy(gorgeous, yes; funny, no). But does all this humor in marketing move product?

Don Draper would shake his head and pour himself another martini.

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