Honda brags it has the "most robust and diverse racing portfolio of any automaker."
Honda is kicking off a new ad campaign dubbed “Racing at Heart” to show how the expertise gained in the challenging world of motorsports is being put to good use into their road-going cars. The namesake inaugural spot focuses on Honda’s involvement in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Red Bull Global Rallycross, and desert truck racing before switching to cars you can actually buy, namely the Ridgeline pickup truck and the Civic in the spicy Si and Type R flavors.
We can’t say that we are surprised by the fact there’s no mention of the Honda-powered McLaren MCL32 competing in F1 given the poor performance of the car. After five races, McLaren Honda is dead last in the constructors’ standings with zero points, prompting Fernando Alonso to head to the United States to rediscover the joy of racing for this month’s Indy 500. His seat in the F1 car during the Monaco GP will be occupied by Jenson Button teaming up with Belgian rookie Stoffel Vandoorne.
Getting back to the commercial at hand, the Civic Si is on sale in the U.S. and carries a starting price of $24,775 in both sedan and hatchback body styles. The cars are sharing a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine developing 205 horsepower (153 kilowatts) and 192 pound-feet (260 Newton-meters) of torque transferred to the front axle via a six-speed manual.
For something with more oomph, you’ll have to wait until the end of spring when the Civic Type R will go on sale. The fastest front-wheel-drive production car around the Nürburgring is going to cost somewhere in the mid-$30,000 range. Buyers willing to fork out the premium over the warm Si will be rewarded with a larger 2.0-liter unit rated at 306 hp (228 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) also paired with a six-speed manual. A cheaper Type R is expected to arrive next year with less kit, but the same meaty engine.
The 30-second ad also shows for a brief moment the Ridgeline, the winner of the 2017 North American Truck of the Year award available with a 280-hp V6 in both front- and all-wheel-drive guises and carrying a starting price of $29,475.
Gallery: Honda performance models ad campaign
Racing-Inspired Brand Campaign Heralds New Honda Performance Models
- Highly anticipated Civic Type R and Si models make television debut: https://youtu.be/VTFcoh2kj5I
- Honda's "Racing Spirit" at the heart of its production vehicles
- Honda has most robust and diverse racing portfolio of any automaker
TORRANCE, Calif. – "Racing at Heart," a new brand campaign linking Honda's incredibly diverse, high-performance motorsports program to production vehicles including the new Civic Type R, arriving in dealerships late spring, makes its television debut today: https://youtu.be/VTFcoh2kj5I. The new spot, also titled "Racing at Heart," highlights Honda racing programs including the Verizon IndyCar Series, Red Bull Global Rallycross and desert truck racing – demonstrating how the brand's deep roots in competition inspire the engineering of the Honda vehicles available to its customers.
"Racing at Heart" leads a new Honda brand marketing campaign, with the racing-focused spot starring the Civic Type R, Civic Si and Ridgeline, along with the race cars that inspired such production vehicles. The campaign delivers the message that – from the racetrack to the road – racing is at the heart of every Honda vehicle, starting with its engine. The campaign debuts during the NBA Conference Finals on ABC, and will be showcased during the ABC broadcast of the 2017 Indianapolis 500 on May 28, as well as during '500' qualifying on May 20-21, while also featuring additional broadcast, print, digital and social amplifications.
"Racing is a core part of Honda DNA and for over 60 years the new technologies and challenging spirit we gain on the track translates into the high level of performance in the vehicles we make for our customers," said Susie Rossick, Assistant Vice President, Honda Marketing. "This new Racing at Heart campaign helps celebrate the arrival of the Civic Type R and Si at Honda dealerships nationwide in the coming weeks."
"Racing at Heart" Campaign Extension
The multi-channel "Racing at Heart" campaign will include broadcast television, with the spot airing multiple times on NBC, ABC and ESPN sports programming, including during the NHL Conference Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Conference Finals (first airing 5/16) and NBA Finals, during Red Bull Global Rallycross race competition, as well as on networks targeting performance-minded viewers such as Comedy Central, Spike TV, FX, among others. From a digital standpoint, www.racewithhonda.com is being overhauled and will serve as the destination hub of the racing campaign.
Honda also is launching a motorsports influencer campaign, taking Honda's long-running "Fastest Seat in Sports" campaign, the long-standing experience that gives a celebrity the chance to go on a two-seat ride leading the start of a Verizon IndyCar Series race with legendary Indy 500 champion driver Mario Andretti – to the next level. Eight different influencers from a variety of backgrounds – from base jumping adrenaline junkies to science buffs like Tory Belleci from "Myth Busters" – will discover their inner racer at heart by helping start an IndyCar Series race riding behind legendary Indy 500 champion driver Mario Andretti in the Honda IndyCar two-seater. For more information on Honda and Honda Racing, visit: www.racewithhonda.com.
Honda offers a full line of reliable, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive vehicles with advanced safety technologies sold through over 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. The Honda lineup includes the Fit, Civic, Accord and Clarity Fuel Cell passenger cars, along with the HR-V, CR-V and Pilot sport/utility vehicles, the Ridgeline pickup and the Odyssey minivan.
Honda has been producing automobiles in America for 34 years and currently operates 19 major manufacturing facilities in North America. In 2016, more than 95 percent of all Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. were made in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.