Honda & SongPop: A Fantastic Advergaming Concept

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            A person’s cell phone is a very personal entity and it consumes a person’s everyday life, goes with them everywhere and is customized according to their preferences.  Based on this information, it makes sense for advertisers to attempt to “invade” this personal space without seeming pushy.  Some ways to do this are to be fun and interactive, and most of all…wanted.

            Honda created “an immersive mobile social gaming advertising campaign as a part of the 2013 Honda Civic launch” (Sumner, 2013). Honda partnered with MediaBrix to launch the first “fully integrated, immersive and interactive advertising experience within SongPot, a popular social and mobile game with over 60 million players developed by FreshPlanet” (Sumner, 2013). By tapping into the new and exciting world of advergaming (mobile gaming) as well as mobile advertising, Honda has created something fun that consumers will want to interact with.  Supporting this concept are the facts.  “The just released MediaBrix Social and Mobile Gaming report is bullish on the performance of social gaming ad campaigns as mobile gaming video ads deliver an average CTR of 3 percent, 30 times higher than the CTR of standard banner advertising campaigns” (Shayon, 2013).

            This new campaign reaches across multiple forms of emerging media including Facebook, mobile and tablet games.  The goal from Honda’s perspective is to initially “drive awareness among social gamers who love music and trivia” (Sumner, 2013).  Honda and MediaBrix have done a terrific job to fully integrate this advergaming concept across the brand.  For example, Honda is the first automotive company to “feature a branded playlist on SongPop, which includes music by the featured artists in the Civic commercials” (Sumner, 2013).  This really creates continuity across the brand while offering additional subtle branding that the consumer may not even realize right away.  Soon though, through conditioning, the consumers begin to associate those selected songs with Honda.

            MediaBrix has two powerful advertising products that were integrated into this campaign: SocialFusion and SocialFlex.  The SocialFusion helps with the conditioning just mentioned as “the Honda brand becomes an integral part of the gameplay through a free branded playlist, inspiring positive brand recognition and association among the dedicated massive SongPop user base” (Sumner, 2013).  The second part, SocialFlex offers a more direct advertising approach by offering “Honda a way to expand the brand experience through high-impact video advertising featuring the 2013 Honda Civic” (Sumner, 2013).  SocialFlex offers the users a non-disruptive experience and is delivered in the natural breaks of the games.  Banner ads also run on the bottom of the mobile screen, which helps Honda, integrate the advergame with the mobile advertising piece.  Take a look at a screenshot below.

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            The final piece to this puzzle that Honda got right was that they launched it in conjunction with the 55th Grammy Awards “in order to drive awareness among social gamers who love music and trivia” (Tode, 2013).  They mixed some traditional advertising during the Grammy Awards show in order to help launch the short run social media and in-game contextual marketing campaign with a music theme (Greenberg, 2013).  While it is still too early to find out the results of this campaign, given SongPop’s extreme success and the success of advergaming overall, it would not be a far leap to make in saying that Honda most likely saw some great results from this campaign.

References:

Shayon, S. (2013, March 11). For Honda and Other Mobile Advertisers, It’s Game On. Brand channel. Retrieved April 21, 2013, from http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2013/03/11/Mobile-Advertising-Game-On-031113.aspx

 

Sumner, T. (2013, February 8). Honda Teams with MediaBrix for a Breakthrough Mobile Social Gaming Advertising. MediaBrix Blog. Retrieved April 21, 2013, from http://www.mediabrix.com/honda-teams-with-mediabrix-for-a-breakthrough-mobile-social-gaming-advertising/

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2 thoughts on “Honda & SongPop: A Fantastic Advergaming Concept

  1. Wow, talk about an integrated campaign! A branded music playlist, a game, a way in the game to shop, an ad for the Civic, and ads in the Grammys, which are awards for the best music. Honda was really thinking about how to stay on theme, and also how to target its market, which this MotorWeek article (http://www.motorweek.org/reviews/first_impressions/2012_honda_civic) notes is Generation Y (young adults, about 18 to 30). And a mobile game is perfect for this generation, 94 percent of whom have a cell phone, according to a Pew Research study about Millenials (p. 32; http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2010/10/millennials-confident-connected-open-to-change.pdf). This same study found that 28 percent of Millenials said they had played video games in the past 24 hours (p. 36). Very smart campaign on Honda’s part.

  2. This is a great campaign. I went on a kick for a few weeks where I played this game quite frequently, though I don’t recall the ads that showed at that point. I can’t help but wonder how far away we are from a company like Honda being able to customize the playlist based on music genres already saved on a person’s phone. This would enable a highly personal bonding expeience between the consumer and the brand, permitting a closer relationship that consumers will transfer to the brand itself, feeling like Honda “gets them.”

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