Honda's Peyton: TV Won't 'Get The Job Done,' Turns To Music


LOS ANGELES -- While TV is “still relevant” and continues to represent an important reach medium for national marketers, it is no longer sufficient for influencing consumers -- especially the kind of 20- and 30-somethings American Honda Motor Co. is looking to reach, Assistant Vice President-Marketing Tom Peyton asserted during a keynote opening OMMA Premium here this morning. In its place, Peyton said, Honda is turning to music -- both live events and a multitude of digital distribution channels (even its own cars) -- to pick up the slack.

“It’s a big money play. It’s a bold play,” Peyton said of Honda’s pivot away from TV and toward music sponsorship and distribution, adding: “Frankly, we think it’s not great that a company that makes cars is getting into the content business.”

That said, Peyton noted that Honda simply is working with the cards that have been dealt to it, adding that it is using music as a means of leveraging “what the digital age has brought us.”

The concept, he said, began with the “Civic Tour” in 2001 -- a series of live, experiential concert events sponsored by the Honda brand -- and has blossomed into the “Honda Stage,” which will feature 200 live performances during the next year. He estimates those events will generate 2 billion media impressions, including 1 million live event-goers, and “tens o millions of earned and promotional views” via social media.

Peyton described the strategy as a “TV replacement for us,” citing data indicating that only 34% of “Millennial” consumers watch “very little or no TV today, and if they do, they watch it online.” He said that has increased from just 17% of the consumer segment a “few years ago.

“We said, ‘Geez, let’s get in the music business.”

Based on the success of the “Civic Tour,” Peyton said Honda jumped in with both feet, sponsoring or helping to create “150 events just like it.”

The events are amortized in a variety of ways and media channels for Honda’s brands including its own -- including its Web site, as well as its cars. The next generation of entertainment systems in Honda cars will enable consumers to access Honda Stage content like any other audio channel.

But the main distribution driving Honda Stage are big digital music publishers including Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio, Live Nation, Vevo, Revolt and YouTube, the last of which he said currently is “the largest distributor of music in the United States.”

“It was amazing to me when you see the gravitas that YouTube has now as a music channel,” Peyton said, noting that YouTube currently generates about 50% of Honda Stage’s reach, compared to 33% for Pandora and only 23% or “TV music channels.”

“We think that is a potential replacement for the reach and video access we had with TV previously,” he concluded.
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5 comments about "Honda's Peyton: TV Won't 'Get The Job Done,' Turns To Music".
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc , July 23, 2014 at 11:07 a.m.
    Over the years I have noted many pronouncements like this----in effect, blaming some unspecified "weakness" in TV's communicative capabilities or reach for a decision to allocate ad dollars to some other "platform. Usually, the real reason---which may be for image, merchandising or other mostly promotional reasons------isn't stated as it's so much easier to blame it all on TV not being as effective as it once was.
  2. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC , July 27, 2014 at 8:06 p.m.
    Ed Papazian is totally on the mark. To blame "TV" is simple & easy ... AND wrong. It's the the height of concealment or sloppy thinking. Let's not confuse the tool with the carpenter. Well said, Ed! Onwards and upwards.
  3. David Vawter from Doe-Anderson , July 28, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.
    To paraphrase Kevin Spacey in "Glengarry Glen Ross," I bet Mr Peyton just likes talking to musicians.
  4. Robb Martin from Mile High Services , July 28, 2014 at 7:35 p.m.
    Unbelievable! Have I got this right? Honda's TV hasn't been working lately, so their marketing guru decides they need to get into the music business! Someone's forgotten that Honda is in the CAR business, not music. Quite frankly, their TV spots over the past few years prove they've been on the wrong track...'specially if trying to reach 18-34 year olds. For starters, Honda needs to get back to the basics with their TV campaigns. Branding with music is one thing, but these guys are suppose to be SELLING cars.
  5. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC , July 28, 2014 at 8:31 p.m.
    Ed was right -- from the start!