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Honda finds dream promotion with Dream Garage

By Liz Keener

Powersports, auto and power products divisions work together on campaign

This spring the TV commercials were almost hard to miss. One eye-catching spot included a motocross bike traversing through a garage that had an Indy racecar and a Honda Civic in it as well. Others included one with a lineup of Honda motorcycles and another with a Honda side-by-side. All were part of the Honda Dream Garage promotion.

For the Dream Garage, Honda’s powersports, automotive and power products divisions worked together to market all of their respective products.

Honda’s powersports, automotive and power products divisions partnered on a first-of-its-kind promotion.

Honda’s powersports, automotive and power products divisions partnered on a first-of-its-kind promotion.

“The idea is that we’re an engineering company, and we offer all these products that for most people it would be a dream to have that in their garage,” said Lee Edmunds, manager of motorcycle marketing communications at American Honda.

The partnership was the first of its kind for American Honda. The idea, Edmunds said, came from the automotive segment, but the powersports side was eager to join in.

“It’s a new collaboration between the different divisions, so that’s nice. That hasn’t been done at my tenure here, at least at this level. There’s been other branding efforts, where we’ve highlighted all the different products the company makes, but a campaign effort like this is new,” said Edmunds, who has been with Honda for more than two decades.

Collaboration has been a big push since Takuji Yamada came on board as president of Honda North America, Inc. The president is seeking new ways to highlight all of Honda’s capabilities. In addition to the currently available products, Honda Dream Garage showed future products, such as the U3-X one-wheeled vehicle and the ASIMO robot.

As far as TV ads, Honda produced about seven, and three featured powersports products in the forefront, while all had Honda’s many products shown in the background of the garage.

“Our products, they got a lot of love, so that was nice,” Edmunds said.

Honda also provided POP and promotional materials to its dealers, many of which used the campaign to create their own events.

“Most of our dealers are pretty good businessmen, so I think they saw that opportunity, and we maybe pushed it a little bit with some offers and some POP, but I think the dealers deserve a lot of credit for the promotions that they’ve done. And they’ve done different things in their stores, so it’s a pretty big variety,” Edmunds said.

Excitement has been plentiful, since the marketing team began sharing news about the promotion.

“[The sales reps] got really excited, and they have spread that enthusiasm to the dealers, and we have received good feedback from the dealers as well, so that’s been good,” Edmunds said.

In addition to creating sales, the Dream Garage promotion also brought awareness of the Honda brand and its wide variety of offerings to consumers.

“I’ve run into people, and I’m on a Honda motorcycle, and I’ve had people that have no idea Honda made motorcycles. Their whole experience has been cars, and so it’s kind of fun to tell them the story that it actually started with motorcycles. And so I think a campaign like that does kind of break down some of those barriers,” Edmunds said.

The promotion has also shown potential consumers that among its various divisions, Honda has products for a wide variety of ages and demographics.

“Basically, you can introduce somebody to the brand at a really young age with something like a CRF50F, and we have products that will suit somebody at every stage of their life pretty much,” Edmunds said.

Because the promotion was successful in not only marketing Honda but also in bringing the OEM’s divisions together, it’s likely this is just the first of many partnerships among them.

“I think there will be more collaboration on different things,” Edmunds reported. “Even internally it helped kind of opened some people’s eyes to the possibilities of the synergy between the products.” 

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