Wednesday, September 25

Honda Save A Drive-In

It is certainly marketing du jour to give back to the community ... it's the "new black" of marketing that has actually been around for years.  Virtually every major (and minor) brand is working on how it can build a purpose around its marketing, and how to build a meaningful connection to people where they live.  It's becoming a price of entry in many categories as consumers want to see how the brand is bettering the world.

But I always say that it has to make sense.  As a brand you have to be doing good in a way that is authentic and sincere, and ideally in a way that no other brand could deliver the goodness.

If a brand is giving back just to give back, then consumers will see right through it.  The purpose has to match the equity to be seen as coming from a good place.  And "good" can come in a variety of ways.

Which is why I love the new program from Honda to save the American drive-in.  Granted, the brand isn't trying to cure a horrific disease, or provide fresh water to those in need.  Heavy duty CSR, probably not.  Giving back in an ownable way, yes.  

Advances in digital projection, and the costs associated with it, are slowly killing off the iconic drive in theater.  These often locally owned and maintained  businesses just can't keep up.  They are a part of our iconic culture and quite honestly a part of car culture that is slowly going away.

In walks Honda, or "pulls in" I should say.  

The brand is contributing to the remake of drive-in theaters all over the county, five at a time.  Makes perfect sense, when you consider that you have to be in a car to go to one!

A purposeful program tied to the spirit of the brand and the lifestyle of its consumer, giving back to the community in which the brand thrives.  

Makes perfect sense to me, much like the Haagen-Dazs program to save the honeybee.  Lots of buzz on that one.  Ba dump bump.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph - President, Cohn & Wolfe NA- Author, The Experience Effect series- Professor, NYU- Contributor, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post

PS - My new book is out at amazon ... The Personal Experience Effect.  Big brand theory applied to personal life.


  1. Honda should sponsor the Midlife Road Trip to travel the country in a Honda to all the Drive-in Theaters!

  2. NOW you're talking! That's INFLUENCER marketing, with a POP! Jim.