Honda Civic

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Recent online media: Brand Honda has recently appeared on,, and (Source: Jupiter)

Ad forms used: Banners, e-greetings available at [email protected]'s Blue Mountain Arts

Agency: Rubin Postaer & Associates' rpinteractive

Target audience: 18 to 25 year olds

Online exposure: During May and June, Honda spent $21,662 to buy 1.1 million impressions promoting the concert. Honda brands spent $100,000 to buy 5 million impressions in June. (Source: NetRatings)

Results: 50,000 people entered the contest

Early buyer data for American Honda Motor Co.'s entry-level Civic small car showed the median age of buyers was mid-40s, higher than the marketer had targeted. So, with the revamped Si model set to go on sale early next year, Honda had a new opportunity to reach the 18 to 25 demographic. Thus, the automaker hit the road earlier this year as exclusive name sponsor of separate nine-city tours of two bands-blink-182 and Everclear, both of whom traveled under the Civic Tour moniker. The sponsorship was integrated to an under $1 million online effort with the site, which went live in March. According to a spokeswoman at marketingfactory, the Venice, Calif.-based company that produced the tours, 22,000 people saw blink-182. (Everclear toured later and final figures aren't known.)

Visitors could enter contests to win a Civic customized by each band, band-designed guitars, trips to a concert, a meeting with the musicians and posters. The site also provides concert info, band bios, music tracks, videos and information on the Civic.

Mark Panoncialnan, assistant ad manager at Honda, says it's difficult to reach Gen Y through traditional media. Rpinteractive, a unit of Honda agency Santa Monica, Calif.-based Rubin Postaer & Associates, created banner ads to promote the Civic Tour and site, and creative themed cyber greeting cards on Honda also used on-air radio promotions to promote the tour.

Mr. Panoncialnan says the Web site may stay up beyond the mid-August date when it was intended to come down. Roughly 50,000 of the site's few hundred thousand unique visitors (through early July) provided personal information to Honda to enter the sweepstakes. To measure effectiveness, Honda plans post-tour interviews about brand Honda and the Civic among concert attendees and people in cities where the bands didn't tour.

Still, Mr. Panoncialnan says the goal isn't immediate conversion. "This was a very different type of project. Our goal is not to turn these concert-goers into sales right away. It's more about awareness and [brand] image."

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