The Honda Civic Tour, the automaker’s annual concert event series now in its 16th year, in July hit the road once again, this time with headliner OneRepublic along with a special-edition Honda Civic Type R and Honda Rebel motorcycle custom-designed by the band. But this tour, based on insights from the band and its lead singer’s interest in culinary, has added a new component in 10 markets: a pop-up Civic Tour City Flavor experience that unites a local food truck, a local social media influencer and a contest winner or two in an exclusive backstage engagement. For added reach, the events stream live on the musicians’ and influencers’ social media pages and on the Honda Stage social page as well.
“Food is a real passion point for Ryan Tedder, OneRepublic’s lead singer, who cooks for the band and the crew on tour once a week, and since food and music are naturally aligned, we thought this was a great opportunity to generate some additional buzz and interest for the tour,” says Alicia Jones, national advertising manager at Honda.
Besides OneRepublic, guest musicians get in on the foodie action, too. In Boston, for example, musician James Arthur and influencer/musician Jennel Garcia hosted an event with The Cod Squad, a local food truck that served up clam chowder, lobster rolls and fish and chips while discussing music, touring and of course, food. Fans competed to win a backstage pass for themselves and a friend by retweeting Garcia’s cover of James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go.”
So far, the Civic Tour City Flavor experience has taken place in Detroit, Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston, with stops planned for Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Denver and Dallas.
“As you can imagine, backstage before a show can be a little hectic, and there is a lot going on, and these guys are getting geared up to perform, so we wanted to do something they genuinely showed an interest in doing,” Jones adds. “I think they like the fact that we are bringing in this local flavor, they get a taste of the different markets, and we are able to work with influencers in each area to talk about the food and the music. It gives them a lot of natural ways to talk about the Honda Civic Tour.” Agency: Marketing Factory, Venice, CA.