- Honda yesterday ran a day-long promotion on Twitter called the "Superb Owl Spotlight" that plays upon the common misspelling of "Super Bowl" in online searches. The carmaker highlighted its Honda Pilot SUV with a variety of owl-related content including videos, GIFs and memes to connect with football fans, per information shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The real-time Twitter campaign let fans decorate their posts with a custom emoji of an owl anytime they used the #SuperbOwls hashtag throughout the day. Honda also posted reaction "hoots" to the action on the field during the game, which was broadcast on Fox.
- Honda connected the idea of owls being wise with the safety features of its vehicle, such as Honda Sensing tech that helps drivers avoid collisions. The Pilot is the "Superb Owl of SUVs," according to the carmaker, which has run a broader "Safety for Everyone" marketing campaign to highlight its vehicle protections.
Honda's "Superb Owl" campaign was a playful take on an internet meme that trends on social media as people misspell "Super Bowl" while looking up information about the big game. As Honda notes, the Super Bowl community on content-sharing site Reddit features user-generated content celebrating owls amid discussions about football. Google created an owl-themed Easter egg that showed up in searches for "Super Bowl," USA Today reported in a story to explain why owl content takes over social media on game day.
The carmaker injected itself into social media discussions about the Super Bowl as Twitter users shared owl-related content on game day, helping to raise awareness for its brand without investing in a pricey Super Bowl commercial. Other brands used a similar counterprogramming strategy to reach "second-screening" audiences on their mobile devices. Color standards company Pantone also inserted itself into Super Bowl chatter online by offering "color commentary" on Twitter about the brands that advertised during the game. Hot sauce brand Frank's RedHot livestreamed a game show on Twitter, while GlaxoSmithKline's Tums brand of antacids ran a sweepstakes that asked Twitter users to rate moments during the big game that gave them the most heartburn.
Honda in the past year has expanded its social media presence to reach audiences like young adults who often rely on smartphones to consume content. The carmaker last month gave Snapchat users a chance to see its Rose Parade float come to life as the first carmaker in the U.S. to use the image-messaging app's Marker Tech augmented reality lens. Honda in September promoted its 2020 Civic hatchback with an animated comic book series on Facebook and Instagram targeting Gen Z and millennial drivers.