Always Sunny Season 13 Sponsorship Employs New (Yet Familiar) Tactic

Yellow Honda Fit with Always Sunny in Philadelphia logo and Dennis' face

Torrance, CA – 2020 will mark the fiftieth year that automaker Honda has been an active (if not leading) presence in the American car-buying market. And while recent refreshment of enduring offerings such as the Civic and Accord has proven successful, and more recent additions such as the Pilot have bolstered the brand’s popularity, Honda’s executive management team has been uncharacteristically transparent about their introspective struggles.

Senior VP Jon Minto was recently quoted as saying, “The immediacy of trend-centric marketing poses a unique challenge, one that Honda aims to get ahead of. Traditional marketing is dying a slow death, and the increasing prevalence of YouTube, OnDemand viewing, and subscription streaming services are viewed by many as a unique challenge. As opposed to buying television airtime to air a single campaign which will appeal to the general audience, manufacturers now need to diversify their approach to ensure that their ads won’t be skipped over. Every program and service has its own unique audience. How do you build a strategy and break out your spend when you’re effectively being forced to create numerous campaigns as opposed to one?”

“Here at Honda, we’ve decided to refocus our efforts around creative product placement. Even at a greater expense, this ensures that our offerings are more readily visible within context that won’t be skipped over by the viewer.”

Case in point, FX’s flagship-yet-controversial comedy, ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ which is predominantly viewed (alongside content from FXX and FAM) OnDemand through FX+ streaming services. Now in its 13th season, the iconic program continues to lead its loyal fanbase through the continuing misadventures of the Paddy’s Pub Crew: Dennis, Dee, Mac, Charlie and Frank.

Continuing on a long-running gag, this season will feature Dee’s temporary acquisition of several new vehicles, including a Honda Fit and Civic Type R.

“We consider this a big win for Honda,” explains Minto. “But we didn’t want to rest on our laurels, which is why we’re grateful to the Always Sunny team for taking things a step further.”

Enter the character of Dennis Reynolds, an ever-evolving portrait of sociopathic Machiavellianism whose disdain for all things ‘ugly’ has been known to come down like the hammer of Thor; the thunder of his vengeance echoing through corridors like the gust of a thousand winds. Able to go from flaccid to erect in a moment’s notice, the character’s appeal hasn’t even begun to peak. But according to Dennis’ alter-ego (actor) Glenn Howerton, “it’s about to peak so hard that everybody in Philadelphia’s gonna feel it.”

Meet the H.O.N.D.A. System, an in-universe plot device that will be explored in an upcoming episode which reveals that the automaker is actually a subsidiary owned by Frank Reynolds (played by Danny Devito). The episode titled, “The Gang Gains the Power of Dreams” will show the characters assume leadership roles within the company. Reynolds’ contribution is a new iteration of his classically egocentric D.E.N.N.I.S. System, designed to “obtain a woman’s undying love, accompanied by life-love devotion (if the man so desires)”.

The system consists of six steps:

  • D – Demonstrate Value
  • E – Engage Physically
  • N – Nurture Dependence
  • N – Neglect Emotionally
  • I – Inspire Hope
  • S – Separate Entirely

Not familiar? Take a look for yourself:

While the powers-that-be seem hesitant to reveal the five steps that make up the H.O.N.D.A. system, they seem genuinely excited about this campaign, expecting it to infuse their brand with a new sense of unbridled cult-enthusiasm.

What do you think? Is this a good move for Honda, and for the series itself?

Also, what do YOU think the five steps to the H.O.N.D.A. system will be?


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