Honda tracks racing legacy on social media
- American Honda launched a social media campaign for May touting its role in motorsports in a month where fans will be watching the Indianapolis 500 and Formula 1's Monaco Grand Prix, per a press release. By browsing the hashtag #MayMotorsports, racing enthusiasts can follow exclusive content on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
- Honda kicked off the #MayMotorsports campaign with a 2018 version of "Racing at Heart," a video that shows how the car brand's motorsports program is linked to producing vehicles for everyday consumers. The campaign lets racing fans engage with exclusive content including archival racing footage, competition video on the track and behind the scenes, images of iconic races and GIFs.
- Honda-powered IndyCar racing teams are set to compete in the Indianapolis 500 on May 27, including Andretti Autosport, which has won the race three times in the past four years; Chip Ganassi Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Dale Coyne Racing and Michael Shank Racing.
With slow growth in U.S. auto markets, Honda is stepping on the gas with its social media campaigns. The #MayMotorsports effort taps into a bit of nostalgia with highlights from the Japanese carmaker's long history in racing, as well as how the technology Honda developed for high-performance vehicles influences the design of its consumer products.
Honda's #MayMotorsports campaign on social media follows last month's influencer campaign aimed at millennials. The "Shifting Gears" event hosted more than 50 media and social influencers to highlight how many vehicles Honda makes with a manual gearshift. Participants were given a chance to learn how to use a stick shift in the Honda Fit Sport and Civic Type R, in addition to vintage models. Attendees shared their experiences on social media using the hashtag #DriveManual.
The social media campaigns will hopefully offset some of the dragging sales that Honda, as well as other Japanese carmakers, are coping with for the second year in a row, per CNBC. The cost of offering discounts to U.S. car buyers has damped operating profits at most Japanese automakers, including Toyota and Mazda, whose North American sales are set to decline for a third straight year in 2018. The U.S. car market is forecast to dip 2.3% this year to 16.8 million vehicles. Sales fell 1.5% to 17.2 million vehicles in 2017, signaling the importance of carmaker's efforts to engage consumers and remain top-of-mind in the industry.