Read, Er, Listen To This If You Want To Understand Honda's Content Marketing Play

The next new thing in digital media marketing for American Honda Motor leverages one of the oldest forms of media, you know, literature. But fear not, the Japanese automaker is not encouraging motorists to read books while they driving, but it does want them to listen to them.

I’ll leave it to better grammarians than me to determine whether the proper verb should be “read” or “listen,” but Honda is calling its new content marketing strategy “Honda Road Readers,” but they’re actually audio book downloads its providing to customers so they can make better use of the time they spend behind the wheel and/or the time their passengers spend in their back seats.

“You spend a lot of time in the car and what can we do to make that better,” Ernie Kelsey, Senior Manager, Regional, Experiential and Social Marketing, American Honda Motor, told OMMA Video attendees this morning during a keynote showcasing some of Honda’s newest video -- and apparently, audio -- content marketing campaigns.

The free audio book series, which are powered by, were really intended to help parents who spend a lot of time in their cars with their children.

He cited research indicating that Honda owners with children ages 5 to 16 spend an average of 208 hours a year riding in the car with them.

“And the parents don’t view it as good quality time,” Kelsey said, showing a video that began with parents and children having meaningless interactions in their Honda until they can access Honda Road Readers. The video played an audio or a narrator reading “Peter Pan,” which seemingly came to life with an animated version of Tinkerbell floating in the backseat with the family’s tikes.

“The reading really just came organically that this would be a product we could offer consumers. Free audio books is something people are liking,” he said.

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