For a single day earlier this week, Twitter users who want new cars had a hashtag and a sympathetic ear: on July 15, Honda responded to tweets that included #wantnewcar by creating Vine videos.
As a result, the #wantnewcar hashtag was used nearly 7,000 times and yielded 36 Vine videos encouraging users to purchase a new Honda through its Summer Clearance Sales Event. The effort also resulted in 500 retweets and 360 favorites.
Honda says these videos include news of the sales event in an organic way specific to users' concerns.
For example, Twitter user @BrittanyTaylor6 tweeted, "I have always wanted a honda!! #WantNewCar," to which @Honda replied, "Good news, @brittanytaylor6, We think you and Honda are a perfect match," adding a link to this video.
Alicia Jones, manager of Honda and Acura social media at American Honda Motor Co., Inc., says Honda selected tweets for video responses based on timing as well as by asking itself, "Could we come up with a creative, interesting, engaging response through Vine?"
The brand sought to integrate various models as well as to personalize its videos to Twitter users and to not just respond randomly with a "generic canned answer," she says. "We put several people's heads together to come up with fun, funny, interesting responses. I was pretty proud - we came up with 36 films over 12 hours."
The initiative allowed Honda to leverage organic conversations. Plus, it's something new and exciting, Jones adds.
"We felt it was a great platform for engagement and it's fairly easy to use and was a way for us to humanize our big brand and do so in a fun, interesting way consistent with our overall theme, which is funny and quirky, using real tweets," Jones says.
In addition to the one-day Twitter event, Honda says the Summer Clearance promo is supported by television, print, digital, and radio advertising.
A YouTube video pushing the one-day event has 33,000 views.
The campaign also features eight TV spots that show Honda dealers responding to real tweets, while identifying alternative cars and deals for viewers to think about. That includes the spot "Super Fan," which addresses an actual tweet from actor Neil Patrick Harris in which @ActuallyNPH asked for advice on selecting a minivan. (Harris has 6.2 million followers, or about 6.1 million more than @Honda.)
The TV ads also feature the hashtag #HondaLove.
Honda says online ads will run on car and consumer websites, including AOL Autos, Edmunds, MSN Autos, Autobytel, AutoTrader, and Cars.com. In addition, the campaign included a USA Today home page takeover with @Honda's live Twitter feed.
While Honda did not use Instagram video in the promotion, Jones says Honda added a video on the network to push the campaign.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
March 19, 2014