Honda targets buyers through gaming
Honda is pumping more marketing dollars into competitive video-gaming to protect its status as the dominant carmaker among young, first-time buyers in the US, reports Bloomberg.
The Japanese automotive giant is becoming the official automaker of Riot Games’s League of Legends Championship Series, one of North America’s biggest e-sports leagues. The news comes eight months after Honda signed a partnership with Team Liquid, a three-time league champion.
THESE YOUNGERAUDIENCES THATWE ’RE TRYING TOREACH REALLYPREFER E-SPORTSAND SOCIAL MEDIA.
Honda’s goal is to meet young consumers on their own terms. The global e-sports audience consists of more than 450-million people, according to analysis firm Newzoo, and North America represents the largest market. That group is largely young, tech-savvy consumers who don’t interact with marketing in the same way as their older peers.
They’re also a valuable commodity in the automotive world. Millennials and Gen Z are the only generations increasing their share of car sales right now, and Honda is well positioned with those groups. Its Civic and Accord models are the top-selling vehicles for first-time buyers, according to the company.
“These younger audiences that we’re trying to reach really prefer e-sports and social media over more traditional media,” said Phil Hruska, manager of media strategy at American Honda. “We look at these deals as a social-media platform, which is a great evolution of where the eyeballs are going.”
The announcement comes just a few days after the e-sports and gaming industries reacted vociferously to politicians — including President Donald Trump — referencing violent video games as a potential inspiration for the mass-shooting epidemic in the US.
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