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Honda Allocating More Resources to Non-Traditional Marketing Initiatives

Most of the headlines about social media usually involve celebrities and their inappropriate or bizarre public or private behavior, but the emergent genre of mass communications has caught the eye of major corporations, and is resulting in reallocation of marketing resources. American Honda has shifted its marketing budget to allocate as much as 30 percent of the overall marketing budget to social media and other non-traditional initiatives, according to Automotive News. American Honda senior vice president of marketing Mike Accavitti said the company needs to take more risks with its marketing strategy, and accepting that some will not be successful.

As much as 30 percent of the company's U.S. marketing budget has been set aside for "risky" initiatives, with a heavy emphasis in social media. Among some of the manifestations of this news strategy is Acura's sponsorship of the popular "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" web video series featuring Jerry Seinfeld, which has seen a 40 percent increase in viewership in its second season.

The more traditional initiatives, such as television, digital and print advertising, are expected to achieve the same results with 70 percent of the budget as they achieved previously with the lion's share of resources. In addition to the reallocation of resources to non-traditional marketing initiatives, Honda has also changed agencies for media buying and advertising. Honda also has an in-house social media department to create new content.

The Honda Civic "Best Yourself" campaign featuring musician Nick Cannon, was created by Muse, an agency specifically oriented toward the African-American community, and features a two-minute minifilm of Cannon driving a Civic, and talking about self-improvement. The campaign with Cannnon resulted in 70 million Twitter impressions and 2.5 million views for the video.