Event marketers are leaning on social media more and more as they navigate a new and, hopefully, temporary world of digital experiences. Honda’s summer campaign, Honda Virtual Adventures, is an example of a digital program that encourages interactivity and decision-making on the part of the user to give it dimension. The effort is supporting the March launch of Honda’s new CR-V Hybrid line, its first electrified crossover vehicle in America, and the campaign theme is inspired by the summer tradition of road tripping.
The Honda Virtual Adventures series kicked off with a live tour of Niagara Falls State Park on YouTube, where a park representative leveraged Google Earth to navigate the park and share information about its history and ecological importance as well as tell interesting stories about things like the stunts people have attempted within the park over the years. Viewers could submit questions in the chat and receive real-time answers from the guide as well. Honda tied the campaign together on social media with #AdventuresWithHonda.
More on Digital Consumer Engagement:
- What Event Marketers Can Learn from Airbnb Online Experiences
- How Nine Brands Engaged Consumer Audiences During Social Distancing
Throughout the series, Honda plans to offer virtual experiences that allow consumers to discover state parks, cities and iconic landmarks across America—giving that extra screen time meaning and offering escapism content in an otherwise saturated digital world. It all maps back to the brand’s positioning of the Honda CR-V Hybrid as a vehicle that supports real-life adventures—from a family trip to a park to “trekking” around town on errands, according to Honda.
“This campaign always meant to live on social, but we’re working really closely with the p.r. teams and other teams on how we can bring larger event moments to life virtually,” says Jessica Fini, head of automobile social media, American Honda Motor Company. “Our social team is actively conducting audits on all of the virtual reveals. It’s exciting, in a way, that there’s no script on how to do it. It’s all up to brands on how to utilize all the tools we have on social and all the different techniques that platforms have available to draw people in.”
CHECK OUT THE FOOTAGE HERE:
Other summer digital campaigns Honda is introducing include a “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” series with the Honda Passport vehicle, which is taking place through Honda’s Instagram Stories and the highlights function. Consumers can “Tap for Adventure” through various scenarios like riding a horse and zip-lining. Consumers will also have the opportunity to “Drive Through Time” in another point-of-view digital experience featuring footage filmed inside the dashboards of vintage vehicles in the Honda museum. That footage will be paired with 1970s-era environments out of the virtual car windows while a soundtrack from ’70s plays.
For marketers leaning heavily on social media this season, Fini suggests zeroing in on each platform’s strengths. In the case of YouTube, that means tracking and responding to comments live and capitalizing on the fact that consumers, heavily engrossed in digital content during social distancing, will likely organically discover your content and tune in.
“We’re watching competitors and planning our own bigger launches and that’s a huge debate—do you go live or pre-recorded, and what’s going to generate the most excitement,” says Fini. “For us, going live and interacting with fans and followers is really key to heightening the experience. Whether the actual video itself is live or pre-recorded, the real-time interaction is important for us moving forward.”