Honda reaches for 'something greater' in COVID-19 ad

Sister brand, Acura, is also launching new work to replace its canceled March Madness campaign.

Honda has updated its longtime advertising theme, "The Power of Dreams," to "The Power of Something Greater" as it responds to the COVID-19 crisis with new advertising, social media content and community support.

The spot, which broke Tuesday on cable and video-on-demand outlets, showcases that while the brand has always stood for the power of dreams, with ads to match since at least 2007, now was the time for "something greater." 

American Honda Motor Company, based in Torrance, Calif., also launched new work for its luxury nameplate, Acura. MullenLowe had created digital ads tying in with the NCAA basketball finals. It’s been replaced with a social campaign, #LessDriveMorePark, which suggests cars be used only for essential travel.

During coronavirus illness, fear and isolation, Honda’s "Something Greater," by agency RPA Los Angeles, says what matters now is "the power of supporting our neighbors, the power of working together and the power of being there."

The sentiment is straight-arrow. Visuals are equally earnest. We see Honda volunteer teams in action, a neighbor dropping off produce and a medical professional scrubbing up at the sink. "Because the way we’ll get through this is remembering to care for each other," states the announcer. 

At the end, the spot flips perspective from live action to a text conversation, where one person is checking in on another. Without saying as much, viewers, sitting on their couches, realize they can text some support and also be part of the power of something greater. 

Some of Honda’s corporate initiatives include pulling personal protective equipment from the company’s factories for healthcare providers and using company 3-D printers to make face shields. 

Honda also pledged $1 million to communities across North America, directed toward food banks. In fact, its Honda Center, home to the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, has been converted to a socially distant community exchange center, where food bank donations are being processed. 

Like other automakers, Acura and Honda are also offering ways for owners to defer payments and discounts for first responders.

The 30-second "Power of Something Greater" spot is airing across cable, including on AMC, BBC, Bravo, CNBC, Fox Business News and TBS. ABC and CBS and others are running the spot on video on demand. 

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