- Honda will give 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 (AR) lens. As the presenting sponsor of the annual New Year's Day event, Honda will lead the parade with a float titled "Our Hope for the Future" that celebrates children, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Snapchat users attending the parade can point their smartphone cameras at the official Rose Parade logo to see an immersive experience with imagery from Honda's 55-foot float, which is decorated with 30,000 flowers. The float depicts six children engaged in different scientific and artistic pursuits.
- Viewers watching the parade from home can participate in the AR experience by scanning a Snapcode to unlock Honda's Rose Parade World Lens. The lens has digital animations of sparkling stars, exploding fireworks and the characters on the Honda float, along with ambient sounds from the 131st Rose Parade, per the announcement.
Honda aims to extend the reach of its Rose Parade sponsorship and connect with a younger generation of attendees and at-home viewers who are most likely to use Snapchat for personal communications and media consumption. Honda can parlay its sponsorship of the parade into an immersive brand experience that deepens the emotional connection with audiences while also showcasing two of its vehicles.
About 700,000 people attended last year's live event, while 37 million people watched the telecast among a variety of TV, cable and digital channels, according to data compiled by the Tournament of Roses organization. Meanwhile, Snapchat has said that more than 90% of people ages 13 to 24 use the app, along with 75% of 13- to 34-year-olds — a desirable audience for brands such as Honda looking to reach current and future car buyers.
Honda has been active on social platforms like Snapchat to reach audiences who tend to watch less TV. The carmaker in September promoted its 2020 Civic hatchback with an animated comic book series on Facebook and Instagram targeting Generation Z and millennial drivers. It also rolled out a social media campaign as part of its "Safety for Everyone" push to highlight its vehicles' safety features. To reach the growing audience of esports fans, Honda in August became the exclusive automotive sponsor of Riot Games' League of Legends Championship Series (LCS).
Honda is the latest major brand to create a Marker lens that's activated by scanning Snapcodes, the special QR code developed for the image-messaging app. McDonald's and Coca-Cola earlier in December were the first brands to use Snapchat, an image-recognition feature that scans logos to unlock AR lenses and content. About 70% of Snapchat's users play with its AR features every day, according to the parent company's Q1 metrics, making the interactive content an enduring feature of the app.