Honda Tunes In Grammys With Social Gaming Program

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Honda got into, and around, Sunday’s Grammy Awards on CBS to spotlight the new Honda Civic. In addition to traditional advertising during the awards show, the automaker will launch a social media and in-game contextual marketing campaign with -- what else? -- a music theme. 

The new effort -- actually the second social-media centric campaign under the “Honda Innovator” platform -- was coordinated by in-game social and mobile advertising company MediaBrix. It brings the virtues of the new Civic to a music and trivia digital game that lives on Facebook, and apps for mobile and tablet devices. 

The program centers on a Honda Civic-branded playlist within FreshPlanet's SongPop music game. The Honda playlist happens to feature the song "Disparate Youth," by Santigold, which served as the backing track for the new "Honda Innovator" ad campaign for the car. The new music effort parallels another big digital and social media play for Civic, #HondaInnovator, which focuses on the inventors and designers featured in a raft of TV ads that launched in early January. 

Todd Bowman, chief revenue officer at New York-based MediaBrix, says the cross-platform advertising units, in addition to being in Facebook game format, will appear in the SongPop mobile game on iOS and Android platforms. The whole program runs Feb. 10 to 14, he notes.

"The Honda brand becomes an integral part of the gameplay through the free, branded playlist, inspiring positive brand recognition and association among the SongPop user base," he says. Per MediaBrix, SongPop has some 60 million users. 

Mike Accavitti, VP of national marketing operations at Torrance, Calif.-based American Honda, tells Marketing Daily the automaker also has a presence in the Grammy Awards broadcast itself: the automaker will tout the new Civic during the show with two 30-second Civic spots in 60 top markets. And there will be a custom gatefold print in Entertainment Weekly plus a YouTube masthead takeover the day after the show, he says.

The program with MediaBrix, he says, allows Honda to "further extend the Civic's presence surrounding the Grammys," he says. "This is a valuable opportunity to engage with social gamers who love music and trivia."

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