Honda social media campaign proves influential, but fails to reach wider audience

Honda social media campaign proves influential, but fails to reach wider audience

Analysis of the consumer reaction to Honda’s 2011 CR-Z suggests those consumers who have been exposed to Honda’s social media marketing are far more positive towards the CR-Z than those who have not. However, WaveMetrix insight also suggests Honda have failed to marry the conflicting attributes of performance and fuel economy.

Honda is using a social media campaign to launch its 2011 CR-Z, which it calls the world’s first hybrid sports car. The brand has engaged with social media users via Facebook and YouTube.
 
WaveMetrix social media monitoring shows that people who discuss the CR-Z via Facebook and YouTube are much more positive towards the model than those who discuss it on motoring forums. Our analysis shows that the main complaints that consumers have about the CR-Z are its performance and economy, both of which are perceived as weak in comparison to rival brands.
 
  • Honda is marketing the CR-Z as the world’s first hybrid sports car: Honda say the 2011 CR-Z is “everything a hybrid is - and isn’t”. The marketing campaign is designed to show that the CR-Z can achieve both performance and fuel economy simultaneously, or as Honda say, that “opposites can exist in complete harmony
WaveMetrix analysis shows that the social media campaign has been effective in influencing social media users, who react positively to the CR-Z. However, consumers who discuss the vehicle away from Honda's marketing channels are more negative towards the CR-Z:
 
Car enthusiasts are more negative
 
  • Users who discuss the CR-Z on Facebook and YouTube react positively: Consumers react positively to the messaging of the social media campaign. Most people agree that the vehicle is able to marry performance with economy. One YouTube user comments that the car “gives you power but also a great MPG”. Another mentions that he drove the car and found the performance excellent, saying that “it picks up nicely when you put it into sport mode”. Most people reacting on Facebook and Youtube also love the style of the CR-Z, saying that the styling of the vehicle “blows you away”
  • Motoring enthusiasts are much more negative towards the CR-Z:  People who discuss the CR-Z on motoring forums are negative about all aspects of the CR-Z. They find that the performance of the car is like a “wet sponge” and are unimpressed with the vehicle’s fuel economy. Motoring enthusiasts say that the economy figures are “worse than a 1991 Honda Civic” and that with normal driving it will “only achieve in the upper 30s” for average miles per gallon. These consumers also think that the car “looks terrible”
When consumer sentiment as a whole is analysed, our data shows that most people think that the vehicle makes significant compromises in terms of its performance and fuel economy:
 
Style is the main discussion point
 
  • The styling of the vehicle is the biggest concern of users: Consumer sentiment on the styling of the CR-Z is mixed. Whilst some people say that the vehicle is a “triumph for style” and is “brilliant looking” many others disagree. Detractors say that the car looks “ghastly”. One comments that “there is no way I would ever drive such an ugly car”
  • Most people are unimpressed with the economy of the CR-Z:  People say that the average economy figure of 34 MPG is “not a step forward”. One describes the economy figures as “abysmal”. The fuel efficiency is compared unfavourably to other models, such as the VW Golf TDI and the Honda Civic
  • People think that the performance of the car has been compromised by striving for fuel efficiency: Consumers say that the CR-Z “completely fails to be in any way sporty”. Others agree that “any gain in fuel economy comes at the cost of performance”. One consumer says that the CR-Z is “ridiculously slow”
 
WaveMetrix social media monitoring shows that well informed motoring enthusiasts do not think that the Honda CR-Z has delivered on its promise of efficiency and performance. However, the data shows that a strong social media campaign can be effective in influencing consumer perceptions, with those who discuss the vehicle on YouTube or Facebook exhibiting a far more positive reaction.

 

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