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Honda To Shrink Ads For Online TV Shows

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Honda

Honda To Shrink Ads For Online TV Shows

Anthony Fontanelle
June 19, 2007

The Honda Motor Co. Ltd. will be shrinking the programming of its minisodes. The Japanese automaker will just be featuring shortened versions of Fantasy Island, Who’s the Boss, Charlie’s Angels, The Facts of Life and other classic Sony television shows.

The minisodes is featured at MySpace.com and it is preceded by a Honda billboard. They will contain brief Honda spots all the way through. “Minisodes are right up the Fit’s alley, so to speak,” Tom Peyton, the senior manager for advertising at the American Honda Motor Company in Torrance, Calif.

The decision is made by the second largest Japanese automaker in recognition of the shortened attention span of viewers and the reduced value of ad space. The automaker added that it will just concentrate on the online marketing efforts on the Fit subcompact. Earlier, the automaker has partnered with Sony to push the subcompact in an online exclusive.

The Japanese automaker will be the sole sponsor of what Sony Pictures Television dubbed as the Minisode Network. The minisodes are set to begin next week. Visitors to the MySpace Web site will be able to watch episodes of 15 vintage Sony series edited from their original lengths of 30 or 60 minutes to four to six minutes each.

This online effort is similar to that of Volkswagen’s ‘Think Small,’ which was created almost five decades ago by the old Doyle Dane Bernbach agency. The effort challenged drivers to try smaller cars. Now, Honda is applying same strategy by running smaller commercials in smaller versions of television series for the Fit, its small car.

The automaker has tapped RPA, its longtime agency, to run only eight seconds of commercials with each episode, appearing before the shortened show begins. First, there will be an onscreen billboard lasting three seconds that states: “The Minisode Network, brought to you by Honda.” The billboard will be followed by a five-second commercial for the Honda Fit, the minicar that American Honda launched in 2006.

Honda said that it sold 27,934 Fits from spring 2006 through the end of the year. Through the first five months of 2007, sales totaled 18,156. “We’re working on additional supply and expanding the car in the U.S.,” Peyton said. Aside from outstanding amenities, the Fit features striking body parts like the Honda Accord rear valance.

“Minisodes are right up the Fit’s alley, so to speak,” said Tom Peyton, the senior manager for advertising at the American Honda Motor Company in Torrance, Calif., which is part of Honda Motor of Japan. “As the Net becomes its own media channel, we continue to look for the right opportunities to access consumers and the right media formats,” Peyton said. Shrinking TV series to lengths more suitable for watching on a PC “is a very innovative use of existing content,” he added, “and it’s another way to leverage MySpace,” one of the most popular social networking Web sites.

The minisodes, which are carefully edited to preserve the plot, will appear on MySpace through the end of August. Sony Pictures Television announced the campaign in April, describing it as a way to repurpose for the new media programming that was originally produced for the traditional media. Other series that will be set forth for minisodes include “Diff’rent Strokes,” “The Partridge Family,” “Police Woman,” “Silver Spoons” and “What’s Happening!!”

“The new forms of media make lots of things possible,” said Amy Carney, the president for advertiser sales at Sony Pictures Television in New York, part of the Sony Corporation of America division of Japan’s Sony Corporation. For those who watched the full-length episodes of the series, “you’ll feel like your life is flashing before your eyes,” she added, laughing. Source:  Amazines.com

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