honda
Is Honda a “funny” brand the way that Progressive, Skittles and Geico are? You might be surprised…

Once again we love PSFK for bringing this to light, and it’s worth a watch: Honda Debuts DIY Car Building Kit For April Fools Day.

Aside from the obvious poke in the eye of “maker” culture, what this campaign shows is that even a conservative, staid, relatively self-conscious brand can step out a bit. It’s something that Sony hasn’t done since “Sony…No Baloney” (and even in its more bizarre incarnations) and it was refreshing to see.

The vernacular of a global brand is generally anchored in their home turf. What this means is, the attitude of the company is reflected in their ads, which are approved by HQ to ensure they reflect the attitude of the company. It’s circular. While huge global events like the Olympics as well as the upcoming World Cup is where the “unanchored brands” like McDonalds and Heineken thrive, the real opportunity for a global brand is to anchor itself “everywhere” based on market potential. The Internet and the virality of sharable content makes this totally do-able.

Honda has nothing to lose by making an “in joke” just because. What would be the “Honda in Italy” equivalent? I don’t know, I’m not a native Italian and that’s exactly the point; Honda could do something for Italy to try and win some additional market share of smaller cars and scooters if the numbers made sense. It wouldn’t have to relate to me. But the effectiveness of the effort would be all the greater, since it was in the lingua franca of the target audience.