Nyan Cat Signs Up to Sell Hondas

Verily, we live in the future. Today is all about robots on Mars, 3D-printing, viral memes and … Honda Civics? Well, at least that’s what a new campaign from the automaker wants young drivers to believe.

Honda’s new “One More Thing to Love about Today” ad, which can be viewed on YouTube and on national television, is geared toward a younger generation that has put the brakes on driving. The commercial features appearances from YouTube stars, viral memes like Nyan Cat, the popular cartoon Adventure Time, and selfie-taking young people. Underscoring all of this is a blues rock number by Los Angeles-based band, Vintage Trouble, which Honda will also be streaming on SoundHound. All of this, they hope, will lure the elusive millennial driver.

“The average age to purchase a Civic is around 50, though the civic by itself is the largest selling nameplate to consumers under 35,” said Tom Payton, Honda’s sr. manager for national auto advertising. “The key item is to keep relevant to Gen Y and keep them attracted to the car. I have less difficulty attracting Baby Boomers.”

Boomers, Payton added, are loyal customers to who Honda remains relevant. Their children, however, don’t feel the same way. But by lumping together a bunch of millennial cultural flotsam, can Honda really grab some younger eyes, ears, and wallets?

“Rather than try to identify all of the individual data points about Civics, we thought to attract the Gen Y market through references,” said Nick Lee, a manager of Honda’s national advertising. “We wanted to create a very optimistic view.”

This isn’t Nyan Cat’s first time to the marketing rodeo. It was previously in a Sprint commercial, and it has fronted for Vitamin Water too. Other memes are cashing in, too. Grumpy Cat is a budding brand juggernaut unto herself.

In a clever media move, Honda has bought ads for the video based off “Nyan cat” searches on YouTube.

Initial comments on the Youtube video are mostly positive encouragements from fans of Vintage Trouble, and a number of others are from independent Honda dealerships sharing the video post, though neither are an indication that the campaign is reaching its target. Since being posted last week, the video has more than 34,000 views.


More in Marketing

The header image features an illustration with a dollar bill that has the Snapchat logo in the center.

Snap eyes growth as TikTok faces uncertain future in the U.S. 

TikTok’s uncertain future in the U.S. could be a win for Snap, especially as the TikTok ban calls into question the billions of dollars currently driving the short-form video app’s ad business. 

Research Briefing: Despite challenges, marketers plan to increase programmatic spending in 2024

In this edition of the Digiday+ Research Briefing, we examine the challenges marketers are facing within the programmatic ad market, what publishers are saying about diversifying revenue streams and how YouTube refined its pitch ahead of last week’s upfront event, as seen in recent data from Digiday+ Research.