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November 3 , 2009

Honda revs up campaign with mobile ads
MSN Mobile used to promote new hybrid

With the Canadian launch of the Honda Insight, the auto maker and their strategic media agency, PHD Canada  knew the best way to promote the new hybrid was to put the brand directly into the right demographics’ hands. The demographic, in this case, was adults—skewing male—between 25 and 49 with a household income of more than $50,000

To get the message to this audience, a brand awareness campaign for the Honda Insight launched on digital and traditional media platforms including television, out of home and radio, online, and more specifically, MSN Mobile. Insight into the consumer demographic reflected that the target was likely to be early adopters. Mobile, and particularly smart phones was the ideal platform to inform consumers and promote early adoption of the hybrid model.

“On average, our target demographic spends about 2.5 hours a day on the phone,” says Peter Farfaras of Microsoft Canada. “So we needed to find a way to reach that audience.”

To do that, PHD recommended an awareness strategy on MSN Mobile properties available through Microsoft Advertising. Because the key objective of the campaign was brand awareness, Honda looked to MSN Mobile to provide a cost-effective and efficient way to bring a great advertising experience to mobile that would prompt potential customers to explore information about the Honda Insight.

Accessing MSNmobile.ca through a mobile device, consumers from across Canada could click through to a brief description of the Honda Insight in English or French, which included pictures, and activate a link to sign up and stay informed about Honda product updates and news.

Because the campaign needed to be up and running in a short timeframe, PHD looked to Microsoft Advertising to put the assets together and build the mobile website (WAP).

“I was impressed with the excellent service and solutions,” said Barbara Glover, one of PHD’s digital strategists. “I can’t say enough about the great support we received from Microsoft Advertising to meet deadlines. A significant value in working with Microsoft Advertising was their sheer agility.”

The Honda Insight ads ran across several Microsoft Advertising mobile properties, including MSN Mobile, Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Hotmail.


Honda Insight campaign measured success on awareness and interaction within the WAP site. According to Barbara Glover, advertising the Honda Insight on MSN Mobile was a great success. The campaign delivered 101% within the short campaign window - there was a 1.65 page visit per visitor, 86% visited the gallery and 14% went to the data capture page resulting in a 0.86% opt in rate.

“The mobile campaign performed very well against our objectives” said Barbara Glover. “Microsoft was able to build the WAP site, integrate the creative and launch the campaign within a quick turnaround as well as achieve our objectives, so we were all very happy with the results.”

Mobile advertising has become a regular occurrence within Honda digital campaigns.

“The Honda Insight program was our second mobile campaign to date, and based on what we saw we were happy overall with the results,” said Kate Lucek, Advertising Supervisor at Honda Canada. “After this, I don’t think we could ever go back to launching a campaign without including an element of mobile advertising, as it does touch the audience we need to reach.”

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