2011 Honda CR-ZEnlarge Photo
Facebook app for the Honda CR-ZEnlarge Photo
The last time Honda used Facebook to promote a brand new model, the results were not so good -- well not so good for Honda, though Facebook fans seemed to enjoy venting some hate. Now, Honda is making another go at the social media marketplace with promos for the new CR-Z, a controversial new ride that's meant as the successor to the popular CRX, though it reminds us a little more of the weirdly shaped first-gen Honda Insight, minus the fuel-efficiency.
The U.K.-based campaign targets drivers in the 25 - 35 demographic, making it a perfect match for Facebook. It includes a fairly traditional complement of Facebook ads, as well as a special app that allows Honda fans to customize their profile photos with some CR-Z-inspired art. The look of that customization can vary, depending on whether users prefer the CR-Z's "economy", "normal", or "sport" mode. Though not terribly groundbreaking, it's different from other applications that have simply slapped a corporate logo on profile pics and called it "customization"; this is more individualized and speaks to the demographic's desire to stake their own claim in the world.
Apparently, there are plans to incorporate Honda U.K.'s Facebook app into the Honda U.K. website, but we don't see anything about that on the site yet. There are also plans to make this an "exclusionary" effort, meaning that each of the campaign's three phases will target new groups. The first phase will center on a broad audience, the second will target those who weren't reached in the first phase, and the third will speak to both of those groups in different ways. We'll assume this is built on Facebook's advertising framework, which is a sophisticated and nicely flexible system of managing targets.
Whether the campaign will be successful, however, is almost beside the point. Sure, it seems mildly interesting (though not nearly as interesting as the French campaign, which has taken the Fiesta Movement idea in a decidedly NSFW direction). Far more interesting, however, is the discussion of the CR-Z itself. Will Honda fans ever agree on its curious proportions? Will they come to tolerate its slightly disappointing hybrid credentials? Or is the CR-Z doomed to become a big-keestered thing for folks to gawk at (again: the French campaign)? We're waiting.