BC Honda Dealers go 360 to entice online car buyers

Level Eleven uses YouTube's 360-degree video format to show off car features

Given that so much of the car shopping experience now happens online – well before buyers step onto a car lot – Honda‘s new digital ad campaign seeks to offer a bit of an in-person experience for online shoppers – a 360-degree view of their vehicles in use.

Level Eleven developed the ads alongside media agency Jungle Media for BC Honda Dealers.

Suzanne Carrier, general manager of Vancouver-based Level Eleven Communications, told Marketing that BC Honda Dealers wanted to immerse consumers into the digital auto experience while also promoting features of vehicles including the Pilot, HR-V and Civic.

“These ads aim to supplement the showroom experience by digitally demonstrating the Honda features and benefits,” Carrier said.

The campaign is based on research showing an increasing number of consumers already know what make, model and extras they want in a vehicle when they step into a dealership to make a purchase.

“That meant it was crucial that we demonstrated the features and benefits online,” Carrier said.

The ads can be found on YouTube, but most consumers will likely come across them through banner ads. The ads include animation to show that it’s 360-degree view. Once they click it, instead of seeing an image that pans left or right, the ad has curves to show that users can also look up and down.

From there, they can choose one of the three stories in the campaign and control the view. The choices include a family at their cabin on B.C.’s Bowen Island, a couple on the beach at Minaty Bay, about an hour’s drive from Vancouver, and a couple having a candlelight dinner on a rooftop parking lot in downtown Vancouver.

Carrier said the ads, part of the “Your Honda Place” campaign that began last fall, were developed in Lightbox engagement ad units using Google YouTube 360-degree video. Since the videos went up in mid-February, they have received 56,000 active engagements and earned more than six million impressions.

Carrier said the ads reflect Level Eleven’s business model, which “is aligned to the realities of the retail environment” and a need to “deepen customer relationships” while boosting brands.

Level Eleven, formerly Elvis Communications, is owned by Vision7 International. Level Eleven was recently launched in Vancouver to cater to the growing franchise and owner-operator retail businesses in Canada.

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