American Honda's Honda Division signed a six-month sponsorship of two online programs, Driving Today (www.drivingtoday.com), a car enthusiast site, and Gamers Today (www.gamerstoday.com), a videogame information site.
Honda will promote Prelude for the first two months, Honda's racing engine in the next two months and the new S2000 two-seater roadster near the end of the year.
REACHING PROSPECTS A NEW WAY
Honda and Web shop Rubin Postaer Interactive, Santa Monica, Calif., see sponsorships as an alternative to banner ads in targeting some prospects.
"We noticed that the click-through rate on banners had dropped considerably and pretty consistently," said Edmund Purcell, account supervisor for RPI, a division of Honda general agency Rubin Postaer & Associates.
"We felt it was important to bring traffic into Honda's site in new and different ways," Mr. Purcell said.
Rubin Postaer worked with Studio One Networks, a New York-based developer and distributor of original Internet programming, to develop sites to reach its target.
The sites can be reached through buttons placed on various car and online game-related sites in the DoubleClick Network, ESPN Infoseek Racing and Cablevision's EZ Seek Auto Channel.
EVERY PAGE HAS MESSAGE
Every page of content will include a sponsorship message from Honda linked to Honda's Prelude site (www.honda1999.com/cars/prelude). In addition, visitors can e-mail Honda designers and racers.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Honda will initially target Prelude buyers who are upper-income male college graduates age 25 to 49, said Meridee Alter, RPI VP-media director. Prelude buyers have a strong interest in videogames and are auto enthusiasts, she said.