Honda has a reputation for making great ads, with the likes of Cog and, more recently, Hands, ranked among the best automotive spots ever made. Honda New Zealand's new ad to promote the Jazz probably wouldn't be placed in that category, but at least it's injected a bit of local colour into the brand with its 'It's Jazz As' campaign.
Sugar & Partners was Honda's agency up until the middle of last year, but it is now working with Apropos (Assembly was on production, with Tailor Tailor doing stills), so after a long period of running fairly bland international creative, it's good to see another local effort. Honda appears to be trying to capture a few more Kiwi hearts and minds as it's also signed up as a sponsor of The Block NZ, replacing Mazda (interestingly, Honda doesn't have a ute on offer, so we look forward to seeing the contestants packing their tools into a Jazz).
Graeme Meyer departed his role as head of marketing around eight months ago and was replaced by Nadine Bell, who was ex Honda Care.
Motor Industry Association figures show Honda's sales in New Zealand have been rising slowly over the past few years, with 2,609 new passenger cars sold in 2011 compared to 3,013 in 2012 and 3,130 in 2013. But there has been big growth in new car sales in New Zealand, with June figures showing the total market up 17 percent year-on-year, so Honda's growth is a lot slower than many of its competitors.
Over in Australia, Honda launched the Jazz with a TVC showing how the 'magic seats', which can be put into 18 different positions, can be used to create a mobile drive-in.