Honda’s integrated X Factor USA activation includes showcasing its new Odyssey minivan on the show, seeing its vehicles used by contestants throughout the singing competition and incentivising online fan engagement through a Honda-backed fan rewards programme.
As the programme’s new official automotive sponsor, Honda is featuring in three in-show integrations, plus activating its off-air rights and sponsoring the show’s ‘Digital Voting’ and a ‘Fan Reward’ programmes.
This Fan Rewards program offers incentives to X Factor fans for clicking and interacting with the X factor’s extensive digital landscape – thus earning points which viewers can use for exclusive show and Honda merchandise.
The Japanese car brand, which replaced original show auto partner Chevrolet for season three of the Simon Cowell created Fox show, is using the show sponsorship as part of the car brand’s umbrella launch promotion for its redesigned 2014 Odyssey minivan.
This marketing push – which also includes network and cable TV, print, mobile, online video, homepage takeovers (including Amazon, AOL and Huffington Post), gaming, mobile and other digital executions – focuses on the Odyssey’s new solutions to improving family life (including what the brand claims is the world’s first in-vehicle vacuum cleaner – the HondaVAC).
This strategy saw the 2014 Honda Odyssey’s new TV commercials, voiced by Neil Patrick Harris and Rainn Wilson, air during The X Factor’s opening weekends.
The TV work kicks-off with three spots featuring ‘spokescrumbs’ voiced by the ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and ‘The Office’ actors.
The television work
which all focus on the floor of the Odyssey – where snacks and small toys dropped by young passengers end up eventually.
Everyday family car rubbish and debris – from the Harris-voiced lint balls, to the Wilson-voiced discarded gummy bears enjoy the ride beneath the seats until the brand’s interior vacuum cleaner arrives and sucks up the CGI in-car debris.
The TV ads and X Factor sponsorship are part of the vehicle’s wider 2014 marketing campaign that also introduces a new Honda umbrella tagline: ‘Start Something Special’.
Another interesting aspect of this new work see each ad start with a pneumonic tone signalling to viewers that a Honda commercial is next.
This multi-layered marketing programme also includes an innovative, first-to-market mobile integration with ‘Angry Birds’ and ‘Words with Friends’.
With Rovio’s ‘Angry Birds Star Wars’, Honda creates custom content and again leverages the functionality of the Odyssey’s in-car vacuum directly into the game.
While its partnership with Zynga’s ‘Words with Friends’ sees players interact with a hot-spotted and highlighted in-game image to showcase details of the Odyssey.
The third season of US X Factor launched with a two-night premiere on 11 and 12 September and, while it never quite lived up to initial hopes that it would match the numbers of TV juggernaut American Idol, it nevertheless posts very respectable ratings.
Last year Syco Entertainment’s X Factor USA, a joint venture between Cowell and Sony Music and Freemantle Media North America, it posted 3.6 ratings among adults 18 to 49 and attracted 9.7 million viewers on Wednesday nights last season.
Indeed, season two ‘s Wednesday and Thursday X Factor programmes were in the top 10 shows watched by American teens and the top 20 shows in a set of key young adult demographics.
It is this reach that fits in with Honda’s minivan targeting strategy of focusing on busy parents and families
‘Families across the US have a very personal relationship with their Hondas, and integrating our vehicles into one of America’s top-rated programs allows us to extend that connection to The X Factor viewers and participants,’ says Michael Accavitti, senior VP of auto operations at American Honda.
‘As a part of our season-long sponsorship, the redesigned 2014 Odyssey will be an integral part of the contestant experience, and our engagement with The X Factor community will extend beyond the show through a robust social media and online presence.’
The X Factor now airs in 205 countries, and local versions of the programme are commissioned in now fewer than 45 territories – including the UK and the USA.
Honda USA – which produced 25 million vehicles in North America through 2012 using domestic and globally sourced parts and it runs 14 North American manufacturing facilities producing a range of Honda vehicles from all-terrain models, to power equipment products, engines and transmissions – has an expanding track record with supporting music initiatives and TV talent shows.
It sponsors American Idol winner and musical super star Kelly Clarkson’s 2013 tour. Her ‘KCM5 Honda Civic Tour’ included a set of behind-the-scenes into videos
X Factor USA Facebook
X Factor USA Twitter
The Xtra Factor USA App
Honda Odyssey Website
Honda USA Website