Suzuki Hopes Facebook Game Drives Home New ‘Fans’

Suzuki kicked off the digital components to its campaign for the 2010 Kizashi model yesterday, including a Facebook video game. It marks the carmaker’s first attempt at Facebook games, as its sees the social media play as a branding opportunity while looking to increase the company’s 10,200 “fans.”

The object of the animated game is for players to dodge snowball-throwing snowmen, lightning bolts, and pot holes as they make their way “home” in a Kizashi. The exit window of the game lists the player’s final time and lets users challenge their Facebook “friends” to compete against their scores. Dubbed “Wicked Winter,” the game is scheduled to be available at and

Other digital elements for the Kizashi include SEM efforts on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, according to a spokesperson for the Brea, CA-based firm. The spokesperson stated that incentive offers will be part of the keyword purchases, along with the company’s branded make/model terms. Display ads will run on networks like 24/7 Media and Specific Media, as well as a stint on Yahoo’s network on March 9 and 10.

There’s also a Web-SMS-radio play in what the carmaker is calling its “core markets” of Philadelphia and Miami. Participating radio stations are leveraging their Web sites for the brand to offer prize giveaways, such as dinner for two at an upscale restaurant, tickets to music concerts, and gift cards to retailers like Dunkin Donuts.

Listeners are being encouraged to enter the contests by registering at the stations’ sites or via SMS. For instance in one of the radio-based efforts, they are instructed to text “Kizashi” to participate.

Each of the digital components is slated to run at least through March. In terms of the video game specifically, the spokesperson said that statistics like share rates, time spent, and number of plays will determine how long it appears on Facebook.

The target demographic for the Kizashi initiative is male, 35 to 40 years old, college educated, salaried at $75,000 annually, married, and with no kids. Created with El Segundo, CA-based agency Siltanen & Partners Advertising, a :30 TV spot – dubbed “Rich Guys” – anchors the mass media component.

It features the tagline: “Remember when sleek, finely created performance sedans were just for rich guys with money to burn? Well, those days are officially over.” The spot is being made available via the car brand’s YouTube channel and being seeded at various other social media sites, according to the spokesperson.

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