“Honda: The Power of Dreams”. Honda Motor Company wasn’t always the juggernaut producer of cars, motor cycles, engines, and more that it is today. Officially founded by Soichiro Honda in 1949, Honda the man started out as just an intelligent mechanic. Working under Toyota and for the government through WW2, he produced piston rings initially before helping the war effort by producing more mechanical pieces for the military. Where Honda initially took off was under the “Honda Technical Research Institute” name in 1946 producing attachable small motorcycle engines that could be put on bicycles.
The engines coming from the war surplus allowed him to build what is now called the Honda Type A and garner him the funds to start Honda Motor Co. From there only a couple years later Honda Moto Company was born and the rest is history. From its first motorcycle in 1949 Honda grew exponentially over the years and has continued to do so. Now a world leader in automobile production, and one of the best-selling vehicles for fuel economy in the US Honda Motor Co. has made advances in robotics, aircraft development, and their engines are found in a massive variety of household and industrial power equipment around the word.
In recent years Honda has had various successful advertising campaigns, one of those being the Honda “Pintermission” campaign that was created by company RPA (Rubin Postaer and Associates).
RPA is one of the biggest independent advertising companies in the USA with clients ranging from Honda, to Farmers insurance and everywhere in between. While RPA had lost Honda Motor Co. as a client for a short amount of time, they were picked up again for the new “Power of Dreams” campaign that Honda has recently launched.
Pinterest, one of the largest social networks in the world allows users to take things from that site they like or various other sites via a “Pin” button and post it on a wall. The same premise as using a thumbtack post it note. The issue has always been that once people start posting things to check out later, whether it’s a new recipe or a household craft idea most don’t get around to actually doing the things that they post. Suddenly the posts add up more and more and pretty soon users have thousands of posts and not a one has been completed. This is where the 2012 Honda CRV Pintermission Campaign came into play.
Honda realized this and use it to their advantage in promoting their new CRV. The CRV has a particular demographic of people it was and is directed at to be marketed to. I was once a potential buyer of one, but that being said the demographic is usually directed at younger people at that change in their life where they’re going to need an SUV. Maybe for a new baby on the way? Maybe so they don’t have to haul around their extra stuff in the trunk of a car and with the 4×4 capability the CRV allows drivers to go almost anywhere. Either direction, given the lower price point and smaller footprint the CRV fits the younger but budding adult profile that these Pinterest users fit into.
The goal to promote the CRV through Pinterest was an odd one in the way that Honda wanted to get users to stop using the network for a minimum of 24 hours.
Not a lot of time in the scheme of things, but the idea was to get the users to go out and make their pins a reality. The CRV undertone of promotion being that it’s a vehicle that allows you to get out there and do things. Initially, there were only a handful of comments to the Honda Pintermission invites initial pin (38 in total).
However the five people that Honda chose to invite for a #pintermission were major Pinterest influential personalities, one with as many as 33k pins and others with almost 7 million followers. From here with the initial invite to the pinners the campaign went viral.
Using these influencers and them making Honda a pinned collaborator for their Pintermission the users were able to reach over 4 million people. Each person kept consistently updating and as such their followers repined their pins, reaching more people. Which each post from each user the campaign kept growing. After this Honda invited other users to have a #pintermission and it kept bubbling. With almost 1.8 million followers, and their #pintermission hashtag was able to reach over to other social networks as well including Twitter and Facebook. From checking around there are some pins that are as recent as a year ago with the #pintermission hashtag, however nothing has been found more recently than that. On Twitter recent mentions of the #pintermission hashtags have popped up as recently as the last month, but not so much regarding the direct campaign itself. More so on their marketing strategy and how they built their brand through Pinterest at the time.
Did It Work?
Was it successful? Ridiculously so. The success of this campaign can be seen in the numbers alone. With its massive reach and minimal investment due to the idea of crowdsourcing used in the campaign, there was a noticeable increase in US Honda CRV sales from that year on. Unlike massive advertising campaigns which can sometimes cost hundreds of thousands of dollars RPA says the entire Pintermission campaign was only $2500!
The lack of internal investment and the ROI that came from it in a CRV sales boost during that year definitely make the Pintermission campaign one of the most successful ad campaigns of the modern era. The ROI in media impressions was amazing too considering their Pinterest page is still growing and this campaign started it all. The fact that the hashtag is still used from time to time since the initial inception of it in 2012 shows that even the #pintermission’s are still going. With the insane amount of followers that Honda initially attracted (over 5k), they are now up the over 12k and growing with consistent Pins popping up to help grow the Honda brand.
The critical reception of the Pintermission campaign has been widely regarded as one of the most successful social media campaigns of all time and has received a slew of awards, most notably the 2012 PR Daily Digital and Social Media Awards – Best Use of Pinterest award. Other awards included the following:
- 2013 One Show Interactive Finalist x2
- 2012 IAB Mixx Awards – Gold
- 2013 National ADDY – Silver
- 2013 ADDY (LA) – Gold
- 2013 ThinkLA Interactive Awards – Best Social Campaign.
Even now there are many case studies, Twitter and Facebook posts from various influencers, marketing news outlets and regular users regarding this campaign. Many are using this campaign as a base for how to promote their brand. Others use it as a standard for how to promote on Pinterest. Due to the campaigns massive return on investment and little investment due to the cleverness of how the campaign was put in motion it may be continuously regarded as one of the most successful social media campaigns of all time.
Clicking the link below shows all the Pintermission hashtag mentions that are still going on right now!
Twitter Pintermission Mentions: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23pintermission&src=typd&lang=en
Pr Daily Article:
RPA’s Honda Work:
Honda’s Pinterest Page:
Honda’s Pintermission Invite Page:
Brian Farkas Creative Art Director:
PR Daily Awards Pintermission Interview:
Facebook #Pintermission Search Results:
Honda History Sites:
Contained Various Stats on the Campaign: