Honda Goes To Greendale With 'Community' Sponsorship

Honda will be the presenting sponsor of the sixth season of “Community” on Yahoo Screen. The show, the new season of which starts on March 17, is a comedy about a group of students at the fictive (and not so great) Greendale Community College. It was originally on NBC, but was cancelled after the fifth season before being picked up by Yahoo.

As part of a one-year, online video upfront program, Honda’s sponsorship will include integrations throughout the season and pre-roll video ads on new episodes and series highlights, per the automaker. The automaker gets targeted advertising on Yahoo Screen and additional Yahoo properties. Honda also has premium display and audience advertising across Yahoo’s extended network as part of a one-year, online video upfront program.



Tom Peyton, assistant VP of marketing at American Honda, tells Marketing Daily that the show is representative, as a media property, of how digital programs can garner TV-sized audiences. “We are continuing to look for online video properties like this that give us the kinds of TRP’s (target rating point) you get from prime time. It's taking a successful show in prime time and moving it, in the same format, to digital, on a new distribution network.”

Peyton says Honda will use the partnership -- which includes category exclusivity, integration in the show, and various other digital-media opportunities -- to promote the CR-V compact SUV and a range of other Honda products, including motorcycles and even mowers. 

The sponsorship also gives Honda a broad media buy across Yahoo properties, with Honda getting video advertising on Yahoo Screen across desktop, mobile, and connected TVs. Lisa Utzschneider, SVP, sales, Americas at Yahoo, tells Marketing Daily that Honda has been a long-standing advertiser on Yahoo. She says the deal includes premium ads on Yahoo properties, including the home page. “As more viewers head online to watch high quality video programming, the opportunities for brands to connect with these growing audiences across all devices has increased,” she says. “While traditional TV viewing has decreased slightly, online and mobile video viewership are up significantly.”

Peyton says the program represents an evolution in the brand’s digital strategy. “‘Honda Stage,’ which we have been doing for the past year -- curating own music content -- has been a great success, and has brought tens of millions of views for us. With ‘Community’ we are going to get millions of views, as well. The real takeaway is getting smart about reach. A few years ago you could get views on the Internet but not the kinds of numbers you'd get on prime time TV.” 

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