Battle Of The Brands: Which Asian Automakers Bare All On YouTube?

August 11, 2010
Screencap from Subaru's YouTube channel

Screencap from Subaru's YouTube channel

Hello, and welcome to another round of Battle of the Brands: YouTube edition. We've already taken a peek at YouTube channels run by American and European manufacturers, and today, we're moving a few thousand miles to the east, to Asia -- which for American consumers, really boils down to Japan and Korea.

What's the point of all this nerdy, nitpicky comparing and contrasting? For one, it gives the marketing geeks and obsessive-compulsives on the High Gear Media staff a chance to applaud those companies who are doing great work on the social media front, and to rip apart those who can't (or won't) get their act together. Plus, it's August, and it's hot outside, so we're stuck in front of our laptops and need to look busy.

Tomorrow, we'll finish our overview with a look at exotic and premium marques. Then on Friday, just before our traditional three-shot lunch, we'll announce some grand prize winners. The "prizes" are mostly symbolic, but hey, it's the thought that counts.

* * * * *

Honda: //
Total uploads:
Total subscribers: 8,686
Total views: 8,734,783
Date launched: October 10, 2005
Date range of clips: One week to two years
Like: Great, evocative design; strong header; loads of clips
Dislike: Disabling the "all" button; the page hypes Honda's racing heritage, which may not be what all customers think about when they think "Honda"
Most recent clip: "Honda Loves you Back 'The Love Scrub'"


Hyundai: // (because "/hyundai" got swiped!)
Total uploads:
Total subscribers: 633
Total views: 3,620,981
Date launched: April 12, 2007
Date range of clips: Five days to three years
Like: Nice to look at; someone's thinking outside the normal template;
Dislike: If you have a Flash-blocker -- like many of us do -- that header is just a curious mass of blankness; and although it's pretty once it's up and running, the header is also a little large
Most recent clip: "Got It, Get It"

Kia: // (because "/kia" got swiped, too!)
Total uploads: 17
Total subscribers: 1,212
Total views: 4,241,940
Date launched: November 06, 2008
Date range of clips: Two months to one year
Like: Well, it's functional
Dislike: "All" button disabled; just 17 clips?; feels a little bland and underused -- especially compared to Kia's "Soul" channel, which is in the middle of a promotion  centered around YouTube
Most recent clip: "Kia's Sweet Summer Sales Event"


Mazda: If you can find it, let us know


Mitsubishi: // (not easy to find)
Total uploads: 42
Total subscribers: 295
Total views: 188,710
Date launched: September 18, 2006
Date range of clips: One week to one year
Like: Well, it's not the ugliest thing we've ever seen
Dislike: It's still pretty ugly
Most recent clip: "Mitsubishi Commercial: 'Heartbeat'"


Nissan: //
Total uploads: 32
Total subscribers: 464
Total views: 173,145
Date launched: September 19, 2006
Date range of clips: Impossible to know
Like: Although there's a Flash banner at the top of this page -- just like Hyundai -- this one seems to work a bit better (that's something, right?)
Dislike: Impossible to navigate; "all" button is disabled; hard to see what Nissan has uploaded, which is perhaps intentional, since there are only 32 uploads on file; feels weirdly underused for a brand as massive as Nissan
Most recent clip: Who knows? Maybe "Lance Armstrong: 20 Years Behind"?

Subaru: //
Total uploads: 55
Total subscribers: 2,473
Total views: 1,561,492
Date launched: November 14, 2005
Date range of clips: One week to two years
Like: Another Flash banner that somehow works well; super-easy to navigate; clean without being boring
Dislike: Not much
Most recent clip: "Lost Sunglasses"


Suzuki: //
Total uploads: 8 (?!?)
Total subscribers: 293
Total views: 172,375
Date launched: October 18, 2005
Date range of clips: All are six months old
Like: Well, at least it's tied into Suzuki's current marketing campaign
Dislike: We love curation, but eight clips seems like an awfully small library; what in the Cocoa Puffs is up with that ridiculous menu/header?
Most recent clip: "Einen Alto gewinnen - den Unterschied machen! Wie es geht, siehst du im Suzuki Tutorial." (Strangely, it's in English)


Toyota: //
Total uploads: 350
Total subscribers: 3,564
Total views: 4,262,743
Date launched: March 05, 2008
Date range of clips: Who knows?
Like: Well, it's interesting to look at; nice header/background
Dislike: Navigation could be better; impossible to see Toyota's full list of uploads or sort by date
Most recent clip: Impossible to say, but "The Boller Camry Tree" pops up first

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