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Honda "#ThumbsUp" campaign uses emoticons to stress importance of not texting while driving


TORRANCE, CA--April 15, 2014: Honda is initiating a new social media program aligned with April's Distracted Driving Awareness Month to call attention to the dangers of texting while driving. In support of this first-ever National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiative, Honda is launching the "Thumbs Up" (#ThumbsUp) social media campaign to reach young drivers by utilizing the emoticons that are essential to millennial texting, along with a video that illustrates the importance of safe driving.

Honda also is launching a Hispanic-focused "Hands on the Wheel" campaign with two videos, "World's Fastest Texter" and "Mom," which expound on safe driving with a cross-generational message.

"Honda's "Thumbs Up" campaign is designed to resonate with a diverse group of younger drivers to raise awareness of the perils of texting while driving," said Jeff Conrad, Honda division senior vice president and general manager. "Honda is deeply concerned about the safety of all of our customers and we remain committed to enhancing the safety for all of those on the road."

In order to effectively reach millennial drivers, the Honda campaign brings to life emoticons, the must-have characters in any millennial text. Integrated still images and GIFs will be used on Honda social platforms providing information about distracted driving and tips on ways to stay focused while driving. Corresponding downloadable mobile wallpaper and banners will help remind drivers not to text and drive.

Communications efforts aimed at Hispanic drivers include videos, online banners, branded giveaways in both Spanish and English and an experiential component that launched at the Long Beach Grand Prix race on April 13. Verizon IndyCar Series® driver Carlos Munoz, from the Honda-sponsored Andretti team, made a special appearance at Honda's Fan Village booth during the Long Beach Grand Prix race weekend to talk about the importance of not texting and driving.

The "Thumbs Up" (#ThumbsUp) campaign, including Hispanic media efforts, will live on, as well as on Honda's YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and @HondaLatino, Tumblr, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram accounts. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter content will be promoted through April.