Honda Creates Virtual Reality Content
Honda is now getting into the virtual reality world as the company launches its first branded VR content. The companies’ VR content is debuting online enabling people to view video experiences that feel as though they’re driving their super fast Honda Dallara car. The release is going to be the same time as the Indianapolis 500 100 year anniversary on May 29th.
The content was created by using Gannett. The experience is going to be online on USA Today as well as its 92 local websites and also on the app named VR Stories By USA Today Network. In addition to those mediums, you can view Honda’s VR experience at RaceWithHonda.com and a few more Honda sites. They haven’t figured out exactly how they’re going to get the devices to people, but in the past, The New York Times included the Google Cardboard VR as they launched their NYT VR. So, there are many creative ways that Honda can do it.
The main person driving the Honda car is none other than a professional race car driver, Mario Andretti. Mario has been in many Honda marketing campaigns in the past. Ernie Kelsey, the senior manager of regional media and marketing at Honda, said, “We’ve long looked for ways to extend our reach and engagement, and get more people excited about racing.” Honda had thought about utilizing 360 degree video as well as virtual reality. So when MediaVest, Honda’s media company came to Honda about creating a VR experience with Gannett, Honda was very intrigued about the idea.
The VR ad for Honda is Gannett’s first ad with GET Creative, it’s new branded content division that was announced this past March. GET Creative is enabling advertisers to distribute to its 110 million unique visitors. Gannett has previously created over 40 VR videos in the past, so GET Creative is building on that as they help advertisers to differentiate themselves from their competition. Honda along with Gannett’s creative team are currently working to test the racetrack sounds in 360 degree audio, also. The videos are going to be named “VR story by Honda” so that it’s crystal clear to the viewer that the video is an advertisement for Honda. Honda’s company named RPA helped to create the campaign too. It’s rumored that the videos were a part of a marketing campaign that’s very costly – in the seven figures.
Virtual reality has been creating a lot of buzz with potential buyers over the past couple of months while publishers begin to produce branded content. However, most buyers are saying that the real challenge is getting past the new factor and instead becoming a part of people’s every day lives. Headsets are costly and are yet to really hit the mass market and even if a company wants to give away Google Cardboard headsets to people, that still adds up quickly. So Gannett predicts that the majority of Honda’s ads in this campaign will be viewed in 360 degree videos on the companies site without needing a VR headset.
Kevin Gentzel, CRO for Gannett, said, ““If we can use VR to put more people in the race or in the pit, we can drive a very powerful experience.” He also noted that he thinks there’s potential for potentially “dozens” of VR campaigns just in 2016 alone. Honda has been ahead on virtual reality as well as for research and development over the past few years. In 2015, Honda was granted a patent for a virtual reality device that’s inside of a car. Ernie Kelsey said, “We have a group here looking 20 years into the future to see how we can implement this inside the cars. But from a marketing standpoint, we can actually do a lot of this and use this tech right now.”