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A band that many people will say is one of the most reliable and safe car brands you can buy on the market. People often say a Honda vehicle, if taken care of, can run over 300,000 miles before finally going to that big parking lot in the sky. However, many people also thought that the brands cars were a bit bland and while they were amazing at being safe and efficient, they weren’t quite seen as the brand that also lets you also have fun.
Now in its third generation with the Honda Fit the brand sought out to raise awareness of the vehicle with a younger crowd. Honda’s brand image has been changing to one that is more stylish and hip with a younger crowd. Honda wanted to generate some conversation with the people they thought would most likely buy a subcompact car, hipsters and trendsetters. The brands advertising agency though what a better way to spark some conversation with a “hip” younger generation whilst also showing how the brand could be fun than an April Fools Day social media campaign.
The objective was simple, generate awareness and interest in the all-new 2015 Fit in a unique and fun way by tapping into the April Fools holiday and targeting Honda fans, hipsters, DIYers and potential subcompact buyers. They specifically chose to focus on the “do it yourself” aspect that a lot of people have been getting involved with. Younger people have wanted to step away from massed produced items we use everyday and try to make things on their own, i.e. the Etsy crowd. This could be anywhere from fixing something in there house without hiring someone, growing their own vegetables in their back yard, making their own jewelry or as Honda wanted to show them, build their own car. This would be done with the hope that people would share the content, talk about how crazy of an idea this was, and most importantly, be fooled.
The success of this 24-hour fake advertising campaign is credited to three very important fake factors in their April Fools social media strategy. They needed these three things to be right on the cusp of believable and crazy to fool people into thinking, even if just for a second, that this was real.
- The Fake Service.
The brand sought out to unveil a fake new service that could allow the young hip millennial to assemble the new 2015 Honda Fit on their very own. The service would allow people to have all 200,000 mechanical parts of the new Honda Fit to be flown to their house via flying drones. The pieces would be sent to you in order during your completion of assembling the vehicle. Their goal wasn’t to make something that could immediately be seen as fake, but at the same time to be seen as to good or weird to be true.
- The Fake Logo and Hashtag.
To do this they had to come up with a logo that actually seemed legit for the service. It had to be something modern that also had that “I can make this myself” vibe along with it. Most importantly, it had to rhyme. The hashtag #fitkit paired with the hip fake logo helped launch the fake service on twitter and spread the word that Honda wanted to try something fresh, hip, and new.
The logo emulated the hip mood they felt the DIY service would offer its young patrons. This was similar to the logo of the also very hip, and real service, Dollar Shave Club that sends people packages in the mail to help fulfill their shaving needs at a fair price.
- The Fake Testimonial
Vanessa and Caleb, two young people who have seemed to be plucked right out of the hit show Portlandia tell the world what its like to really assemble the new Honda Fit in the comfort of your studio apartment in downtown Boston. “There’s something cool about making it ourselves with our own fingertips. Like, we make homemade Kombucha,” says the couple as they explain why they were interested in trying out the new service. They knew it was important that this couple seemed trendy and had to be the first to try out a do it yourself project like building your own new car. They also knew it was very important that Caleb had a mustache.
Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y094A2vjwzE
For only being a 24-hour Advertising campaign the fit kit had some pretty impressive outcomes. The YouTube video had received over 350,000 views before it was taken down from the Honda YouTube channel on April 2nd 2014. However, this had also sparked the conversation Honda wanted on twitter with over 35,000 engagements over the course of the week, of which featured 99% positive sentiment. People sharing the video saying “Honda won April Fools Day”.
For Honda, this was a great way they were able to use the power of social media to join in on the fun. They were able to show there consumers and potential buyers of the Honda Fit that this car has the ability to be a fun little car, without having to actually show the car driving around a long windy road like most other car ads. More than likely, if you forgot what day it was you would have actually thought that Honda would mail you 200,000 mechanical parts via a flying drone if you felt the urge to “Do It Yourself”.