Honda Jazz & Jazz Crossover – The first automotive press launch post-lockdown

The Brief​

The launch of the Honda Jazz and Honda Jazz Crossover took place outside Honda’s HQ in Bracknell in the form of five back-to-back 1-day events in June 2020. With the climate of Covid-19 this was no easy task. Noble Events was appointed to plan and execute the whole event due to the client’s trust in our agency to deliver it safely and professionally despite the complications of the pandemic. ​

The guest list comprised the most exclusive A-list automotive journalists from across the UK; handpicked to create the greatest impact in the media with the fewest number of attendees. In the end, this was narrowed down to 30 journalists attending in groups of 6 per day.

We worked closely with the client to ensure Covid-19 guidelines were adhered to all times, whilst having consideration for the needs of Honda’s brand and maximising the presentation of the vehicles. ​The launch included driving experiences, presentations to the media and catering.

Safety​

Our top priority was to safely produce an event that was in keeping with Honda’s brand and could match the standard of their usual live launches in terms of quality and coverage. PPE and sanitising equipment was provided for all staff and guests, vehicles were thoroughly cleaned to the highest standard between drives, guests were kept two metres apart, presentations were managed remotely and the whole event took place outside to reduce airborne travel of the virus.

The Schedule​

The journalists' schedule kicked off with a 30-minute online presentation via a tablet, followed by a two-hour drive in the Jazz, taking a specially curated route designed to incorporate several contrasting road types. Lunch was pre-ordered and provided within social distancing rules whilst the cars were cleaned and valeted. The journalists concluded their programme with another two-hour drive, this time in the Jazz Crossover.

Verdict​

The event was extremely well received by both the client and the media, and successfully achieved the dual objectives of maximising press coverage of the new Jazz whilst demonstrating Honda (UK) as leading the automotive sector ‘back to business’ with confidence. Not only this, but Noble Events now has valuable experience in hosting live events in the UK during the Pandemic.



This was the first live UK car launch during lockdown and one of the first “live” events in the UK since March. ​We are currently (July 2020) working on the next live event for the client, due to the success of this Press Launch.

The journalists were delighted to be back behind the wheel again, and the client was very proud to be able to demonstrate what could be achieved despite restrictions.

“Running the UK’s first ever socially distanced car launch was, unsurprisingly, not without its challenges,” commented Simon Branney, Head of PR for Honda UK.  “The event itself was a piece of cake, what with the expert support from Noble Events and the motoring media clamouring to finally drive a new car after months of lockdown, it went off without a problem. “

Katie Stephens, the senior event manager onsite commented “It was terrific to get back onsite with clients, doing what we love to do. The event went incredibly smoothly considering the challenging circumstances, not only that but is was well received by the media. We look forward to keep pushing and progressing events under new circumstances and leading the industry back to business.”