Honda Promotes Hybrid with Clickable Video

Automaker Honda is expected to launch a new online campaign for its Accord Hybrid this week. New “clickable video” technology allows users to more easily explore the car’s features.

The ads allow viewers to click on certain areas of the video as it plays, and later delve deeper into clicked-on features. While the video plays in the left-hand window, a user can click certain areas, designated by the cursor changing to a Honda logo. A click triggers an in-depth look at the feature, shown in the right-hand window. Users can also choose to view a complete list of features to explore at the end of the video.

The campaign re-purposes a :30 TV spot Honda used in the first phase of the car’s November launch. The ad shows the car parked amidst palm trees on a tropical beach, and then the camera focuses in on various parts of the vehicle. A voice-over says, “Is it the most self-indulgent car ever built, or the least? Introducing the remarkably fuel-efficient, 255 horsepower, Accord Hybrid V6 from Honda.”

This “interactive showcase” is based on technology from Avant Interactive, and will run on sites in Jumpstart Digital Marketing’s automotive channel, including publishers like NADAguides.com, Vehix.com, and ConsumerGuide.com. The ad will be accessible on the homepages, hybrid vehicle information pages and Honda-focused pages of each Web site.

“Online has been a critical part of the marketing mix since 1995. Honda has always been on the leading edge technology-wise,” said Edmund Purcell, management supervisor at RPA, Honda’s long-time agency for online planning, placement and creative.

Honda was one of the first automakers to use a superstitial ad, and has run campaigns with Unicast and Pointroll units in the past, Purcell said. For the Accord Hybrid, the company wanted something different to better focus on the car’s multiple selling points, including features, styling, and fuel efficiency. This effort is part of a larger on- and offline campaign, including more traditional video and interactive units running on major sites, he added.

“The plan always depends on the product, but the mix for the Accord Hybrid is different than for other models,” Purcell said.

Honda’s is the first campaign to run on Jumpstart’s new Auto Channel. The company has exclusive relationships to sell inventory for publishers in that channel, and hopes to attract agencies and advertisers looking to reach in-market auto buyers, according to Choon Choi, Jumpstart’s director of marketing.

“The challenge in the marketplace for auto manufacturers has always been that there’s a lot going on, and reaching an in-market customer is the goal,” Choi said. “They understand that impressions on a lifestyle site are not the same as impressions on a vertically targeted network of sites.”

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