- Honda is promoting its annual Summer Spectacular Event with animated GIFs that resemble the video clips people share on social media and in text messages, per a statement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The videos repurpose GIFs and memes such as excited babies and animals to show the thrill of getting a good deal on cars at dealer lots. Honda plans to share the GIFs on its social channels through early September.
- Along with the GIF campaign, Honda will run a TV promotion that shows people celebrating deals on the carmaker's vehicles. Seven spots will air on network TV, national cable and video on-demand, in addition to digital and radio ads.
Honda's GIF campaign shows that the company is in step with mobile audiences who view or share video clips on social media and in text messages to communicate more emotions than text and emoji can provide. About 69% of Americans use emoji, GIFs and digital stickers because they believe they can express their emotions better through images, according to a survey by GIF-sharing platform Tenor and Harris Poll. As another sign of the popularity of GIFs, Amazon's Twitch video streaming service will let their viewers pop animated GIFs into their live broadcasts, per Variety.
Honda has been especially active on social media this year, with a campaign that touted its role in motorsports and an influencer initiative aimed at millennial car buyers. The "Shifting Gears" event hosted more than 50 media and social influencers to highlight the number of car models Honda makes with a manual gearshift. The carmaker also released another April Fools' Day promotion, this time with a commercial that promoted a humorous fictional app around people's smartphone addition while demonstrating the car brand's safety features.
Social media campaigns, influencer events and viral pranks can help brands like Honda connect with consumers and stay top-of-mind. This is especially important as Honda's sales have struggled. Through February 2018, Honda Accord sales fell to 37,420 units from 42,991 a year earlier, possibly a reflection of Americans' shift toward transportation alternatives like ride-hailing. The slower sales may mean that Honda will be offering extra promotions on the Accord during this year's summer sales event it's promoting with the GIF campaign.