Honda recently teamed up with GT Media, JC Decaux, and Puca to develop an innovative outdoor messaging campaign designed to engage young, male consumers and demonstrate the innovative attributes of its automobiles.
To generate buzz around the launch of the new Civic R Series in Ireland, Honda displayed a large, interactive billboard in the trendy streets of Dublin that allowed consumers to actually start the car (featured on the billboard) by texting "START" to a designated shortcode (51500). Upon doing so, the call-to-action signalled the lights on the car to light up and smoke to exit from the car's exhaust pipes on the billboard.
Consumers that engaged with the billboard received a bounce back link to a Honda mobile brochure, providing additional details about the car, and also had an opportunity to receive a free ringtone of the car's engine roar if they engaged with the billboard via Bluetooth technology. The four-week campaign ran during June 2010.
Honda's innovative billboard technology serves as a great benchmark for sports organizations looking for new ways to take their signage to the next level, notably in baseball. While a billboard with interactive elements could not be run in-stadium during play, there is plenty of down time during games (between innings, pre-game, post-game, pitching changes, etc.) when brands could engage with fans via SMS technology without having to feature personnel on-site to operate the signage.
Look for a number of sports organizations to begin experimenting with SMS technology to take their stadium signage and brand activation to the next level!