- Acura launched a vehicle customizer feature on Instagram Stories to let people build their dream car with a digital sticker pack and animated stickers from Giphy, the database and search engine for GIF files, according to an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Instagram users can build a personalized 2019 ILX sports sedan by searching for the car brand's @Acura handle, which has about 542,000 followers, to access the story. Once the customizer is up and running, users can place digital stickers of wheels and accessories onto the car model to give their vehicle a bolder, sportier appearance that fits their preferences.
- For the promotion, which was developed with ad agency MullenLowe, Acura partnered with several influencers and Giphy artists to create the digital sticker pack and share their customized car designs. The luxury car brand will repost the best ILX creations on its social channels.
Acura's social media promotion for its newest ILX model encourages Instagram users to directly engage with the brand and explore their dream vehicle on a platform they're already familiar with, which was likely a strategic move by the Honda-owned car brand to attract millennial car shoppers. However, the four-step process of accessing the Instagram Story is somewhat confusing and may turn off all but the most committed Acura fans. The instructions in Acura's Instagram story direct users to, "Go to next story, tap and hold to take a screen shot, search 'Acura' and customize and tag @Acura and use #ILX to be featured."
Despite some friction in the user experience, the luxury car brand smartly tapped social media and Giphy influencers to generate awareness around the vehicle customizer and extend the campaign's reach to their large social networks. This strategy comes as the influencer marketing business on Instagram is forecast to grow from $5.67 billion this year to $7 billion in 2019, according to researcher InfluencerDB. While the automotive category makes up just 2% of sponsored Instagram posts — compared to fashion at 25%, food 12% and entertainment 11%, per InfluencerDB — Acura's vehicle customizer on Instagram Stories demonstrates how carmakers can elevate their engagement through creative, non-sponsored efforts on social media.
Acura is among the car brands that have recently rolled out social media campaigns in an attempt to engage consumers who are increasingly researching car purchases online. Dodge last month kicked off a multichannel campaign for the holidays that includes a video series on digital and social channels. In November, Porsche showcased a real couple getting married in the backseat of a speeding sports car at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta as part of its push to beef up its social media presence.
Instagram is the most popular social media app for social influencer campaigns. About 93% of influencers use the Facebook-owned platform, ahead of Google's YouTube and Twitter, according to CreatorIQ. The U.S. audience for Instagram year will grow 13.1% to 104.7 million people, or 31.8% of the population, according to an eMarketer forecast.