Honda's newest VR campaign benefits children's hospitals
Honda is tapping into virtual reality for a new holiday marketing campaign that will benefit pediatric patients at the Children?s Hospital of Orange County.
Honda? s Candy Cane Lane is the newest addition to its annual Happy Honda Days marketing campaign. This year, for every ?like? the campaign gets, the car manufacturer will donate one dollar to pediatric patients at a children?s hospital.
"This year Honda has the unique privilege of transporting children at CHOC Children's to a virtual winter wonderland that brings the festive spirit of the holidays to the kids directly," said Susie Rossick, assistant vice president at Honda Auto Marketing.
Candy Cane Lane
Virtual reality has been gaining prominence over the past few years, as multiple big-name tech and marketing companies have begun to come up with their own individual platforms and hardware.
Many brands have begun to take advantage of the renewed popularity of virtual reality with their own broadcasts, experiences and campaigns that can be played through this new technology.
Honda is one of those brands who is embracing virtual reality for a new holiday campaign ? a continuation of its annual Happy Honda Days, a campaign series focused on the holidays and with an aim to do social good in addition to raising brand awareness.
The recipient of this year?s holiday goodwill is the Children?s Hospital of Orange County, which will receive all benefits of this campaign.
To raise money for the hospital, Honda created the Candy Cane Lane VR experience, an immersive VR short for children who are stuck in the hospital this holiday season, rather than being able to be at home.
The children will wear VR headsets provided by Oculus and be whisked away by a Honda sleigh down a snowy street with holiday decorations, lights and music. At the end of the ride, Santa Claus drops off a present, just as a real present is placed on the children?s laps when they remove the headset.
Honda is releasing a short documentary behind-the-scenes video to accompany the campaign. In addition to the donations Honda is already making to the hospital, every like the documentary video gets on Facebook will add another dollar to its donations.
Virtual reality is proving to be just as versatile a tool as any when it comes to creating customer-focused experiences.
Many brands have been using it for a wide variety of marketing initiatives such as the educational efforts being put forth by the Nobel Museum, which is using VR to immerse its visitors in the exhibits it offers (see story).
Other uses for VR are more entertainment-focused, such as the NFL?s commitment to high-quality VR football highlights (see story).
Ultimately, virtual reality can have just as much versatility and nuance as other, more traditional marketing tactics. It comes down to the creativity ? and generosity ? of the brands that use it.
"Seeing the kids' heartfelt reactions to the experience and being able to bring magic to their hospital stay is especially meaningful during the holidays," Ms. Rossick said.