Honda is preparing the launch of its 2012 Civic cars with a songwriting competition called The Sounds of Civic. The social media effort on Facebook aims to get people to both submit and vote for original songs inspired by the car.
The contest -- for which Honda is taking submissions until June 5, with voting starting June 8 -- includes a digital promotional campaign involving musicians who have made it big on YouTube: Maria Zouroudis, Julia Dales, Greg Holden and Madi Diaz, as well as Los Angeles hip-hop artist Free Will. Each of the artists did their own Civic songs, which Honda has on its Civic Facebook Page and YouTube channel.
The automaker is touting the campaign with Twitter elements including the #soundsofcivic hashtag and with updates on the Sounds of Civic tab on the Honda Civic Facebook page.
Honda has made music central to Civic marketing at least since 2001 when it launched its Honda Civic Tour national concert series, in which Honda sponsors arena tours for rising alternative bands. The company has lots of branding at the events, and of course, cars on display.
One element of the Civic Tour is that members of headlining bands (Blink 182, Incubus, the Black Eyed Peas, Everclear and Fall Out Boy have held that honor in the past) modify Civic cars and sign them, and Honda runs a promotional contest dangling the cars as grand prizes. The company has not yet announced the bands for this year's tour.
Honda is also a sponsor of this weekend's Sasquatch Music Festival in Quincy, Wash. The company is running a separate promotion at that concert, offering a new Civic as grand prize.
"We've seen a high crossover of Civic fans and music lovers," said Steve Center, VP marketing.
The company will tally final votes on July 17, with the top eight finalists getting $2,500 in music gear from Sam Ash Music Stores. The winner among the finalists gets a 2012 Civic and will have the opportunity to perform live on this year's 2011 Honda Civic Tour date in Los Angeles.