ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Honda puts brand's history in focus with mobile video series

Honda is documenting the rebuilding of its first vehicle to be manufactured in the United States in a mobile video series, hoping to create a deep connection with fans through a love of history.

The manufacturer is celebrating the historic restoration of the first test model of the premiere Honda-made vehicle for the U.S. market by sharing a heartwarming show on social media and online, which will showcase the process. The event is an important occasion for Honda, and it is making sure to include fans as a part of the process to raise positive brand sentiment and solidify its image as a significant piece of American history. 

"It can be a struggle for auto brands to create compelling auto-focused content that goes beyond providing cool imagery of new car models," said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile. "The story of Honda Serial One is the perfect in that it is comprised of captivating content that provides a rich auto-focused story about Honda. 

"Marketers always want consumers to not only complete their videos but to share them as well. Shared videos provide valuable added visibility to a brand," she said. "Videos on social media perform best and are most sharable when they are short. 

"The first Serial One video times at 1:44, which is considered long for a social media post. Completion rates drop on average 10-17 percent as a video goes from the 1 minute range towards the 2 minute range. The number of times a video is shared drops as well."

Honda?s history
While Honda is a Japan-based manufacturer, the U.S. market is important in terms of revenue for the manufacturer and its Serial One campaign is an attempt to draw in those interested in American history. Each week a new video will be shared on Honda?s social channels, featuring the restoration of a Honda N600 vehicle with a serial number of one, making it the first ever of its kind.  

Full-time mechanic Tim Ming works exclusively on Honda N600 models. After years of collecting dust, he discovered the 100001 VIN number of one of the vehicles in his garage meant he was in possession of the first ever Honda vehicle made for the U.S. 

Mr. Ming will be restoring the vehicle to its former glory, when it will then be on display at Honda?s museum. The first video of the process features the mechanic introducing himself and discussing how the car came into his possession. 
The video currently available to view on YouTube and on Honda?s dedicated mobilized Web site, Honda will be updated the page and social media channels with a new episode every week. 

Honda mobile presence
Honda was also recently one of the first automakers to roll out advertisements placed within mobile wallets, enabling the brand to target consumers after the initial ad impression with notifications regarding upcoming sales events (see more).

The manufacturer also shifted into high gear on mobile, by targeting millennials for a Civic redesign through ads unique to social media platforms that do well with the young demographic (see more).

"While the subject matter is compelling enough to be shared on all social media outlets, the way through which that content is shared will vary appropriately based how consumers interact with each channel," Ms. Lowy said. "For example, the Instagram posts will focus on crisp, eye catching imagery. 

"The posts on Twitter will focus on the short headline text that can quickly tell the punchline or provide a snapshot of the story," she said.