One of my favorite spots, this is the Grrr campaign from Honda to promote it’s diesel engines. The campaign was wildly successful, and it’s easy to see why. The agency took something like hate and made it into a powerful action.

Just how successful was it? Honda reported that its brand awareness figures more than doubled in the period following the campaign’s debut. Overall sales of Honda products within the UK increased by more than 35% and sales of diesel-engine rose from 518 units in 2003 to 21,766 units in 2004.

But the real success of the campaign is the creative. Absolutely wonderful, with a catchy song.

The lyrics for the Honda Diesel Hate ad are sung by Garrison Keillor, American author and voice artist, along with Wieden + Kennedy writers and whistlers Michael Russoff, Sean Thompson and Richard Russell, under the band name “Be Nice to the Pigeons”.

Here’s a little song for anyone who’s ever hated…
in the key of Grr

Can hate be good?
Can hate be great?
Can hate be good?
Can hate be great?
Can hate be something we don’t hate?
Whistling…

We’d like to know
why it is so
that certain diesels must be slow
and thwack and thrum
and pong and hum
can clatter clat
Hate something
Change something
Hate something change something
Make something better
Whistling…

Oh isn’t it just bliss
when a diesel goes just like this?
Whistling…

Sing it like you hate it…
Hate something
Change something
Hate something
Change something
Make something better