Branded Content

Case study: Honda drives passion with Xbox

Honda xBox

At a glance

Goal: Launch the Honda Civic Type R in the U.S. and create a halo effect over the entire Civic and Honda line up.

Solution: Use the Xbox Forza Motorsport 7 game to put the user behind the wheel of the Type R for a thrilling test drive using AR technology.

Results: The campaign drove 24M video views and surpassed engagement rates by up to 10x

Pulling ahead of the pack

For many years, Honda has remained at the forefront of a highly competitive auto industry. However, in a crowded U.S. market, it can be difficult to master product differentiation. Honda and leading agency, RPA, wanted to find an innovative way to launch the Honda Civic Type R in the U.S. market and improve share of voice as well as mindshare for the Honda brand overall. Through the promotion of the sporty Type-R, the team also hoped to break away from any stereotypes that would place them in the same lane as an "ordinary" mass-market auto brand. To find the right solution, the team turned to Verizon Media and Xbox.

"Identifying the right partners and technology was critical in order to be able to execute our campaign idea. Through our existing relationship with Verizon Media and Xbox teams, we knew they could make it happen."

- Connor Gomez, Digital Producer, RPA

Shifting into high gear with Xbox

Honda and RPA worked with Verizon Media and Xbox to create a campaign around the Honda Civic Type R, featured in Xbox's Forza Motorsport 7 car racing video game. The team used the Type R as a "halo vehicle" to showcase the best qualities of the Civic and as a result, grow excitement for the wider brand. A custom-built Honda R vs. R video was created using Xbox and Forza game studio augmented reality technology that put gamers in the Type R driving seat with a virtual race against a professional driver. The video put pro-drivers and pro-gamers on the same level, driving excitement for the Type R and the Civic brand. The team also ran an Xbox campaign that included a Civic Type R Forza model download.

Entering victory lane

The Honda Civic Type R campaign outperformed all campaign benchmarks driving 24M total views. It also surpassed engagement rates by up to 10x and the long-form video average view duration was 2 min. 29 sec., almost the full length of the video. The Xbox campaign enabled the team to target audiences as efficiently and as broadly as possible to a wide audience. By partnering closely, the Honda, RPA, Verizon Media and Xbox teams helped to generate and extend, the enthusiasm and passion built around the Type R to the wider Honda brand.