Acura today will place a customized version of its interactive dealership kiosks into consumers' homes through the @Home broadband service.
Consumers will click through Acura ads on @Home to a broadband site created by Genex Interactive, Los Angeles, that features rich-media information on Acura Division, the luxury arm of American Honda Motor Co.
Ann Palmer, Acura assistant manager-national advertising, said the automaker will move more extensively to rich media as part of a push "to clarify what Acura is to consumers."
TECHNOLOGY SHOWS OFF PRODUCT
"This is part of an ongoing effort to deliver rich media and high technology that our customers want and can use," Ms. Palmer said. "The kiosk material was something that could be used, but the direction was formulated prior to considering that content."
The site offers consumers high-resolution videos, voice-overs, music and information databases.
Walter Schild, Genex CEO, said features such as 3-D animated illustrations outdo the static images and words of narrowband media in showing product features.
"With broadband, you can use a lot of the technology to show off the product," he said. "You can't describe the feeling of stopping on wet pavement with anti-lock brakes until you see the value of it."
The site includes more than 200 screens, 30 videos and thousands of pages of information.
Susan Bratton, VP-market development for @Home parent Excite@Home, said @Home has an approximate 60% share of the 1.1 million U.S. cable-modem subscribers. The cost per thousand impressions generally comes out to $40 or more, which is comparable to other Net media, she said.
QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY
The kiosk-style site is non-exclusive, although Acura was "the only one smart enough to do this," Ms. Bratton said.
Acura has advertised on @Home previously, as have General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Sales USA's Lexus, she said. Acura's cost for the current effort is estimated at $150,00 to $200,000.
Acura wants to use rich media to bring consumers closer to a buying decision, rather than attract casual shoppers, Ms. Palmer said.
"It's not just necessarily high numbers that we're after, it's qualified high numbers," Ms. Palmer said.
Copyright August 1999, Crain Communications Inc.