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Future of TV Community Honda

Honda bet big on Community’s move to Yahoo and it paid off handsomely

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By Adam Flomenbaum, Co-Executive Editor

July 30, 2015 | 4 min read

When Yahoo picked up a sixth season of Community after it was canceled by NBC, it knew that, at the very least, the show’s small but rabid fan base would "tune in." What it couldn’t possibly have known was that the show would enjoy one of its most critically acclaimed seasons yet, with viewers “tuning in” in droves.

Honda too couldn’t have known how successful the show would be when it signed on as the season’s presenting sponsor. Not only did Honda have more insight into the ads it was serving than it would have had via linear, but also with clever product placement, the brand was featured prominently in episodes.

“What is unique about Honda's sponsorship of Community on Yahoo is that the brand truly had a seat at the table and we worked collaboratively to build a powerful campaign including a smart brand integration within the show,” Lisa Utzschneider, Yahoo’s Chief Revenue Officer, told Found Remote. “We were very aligned with what Honda wanted to accomplish, and the results reflect this. We're exploring different ways that marketers can integrate with or sponsor a show, much like Honda did with Community, while also balancing this with marketers' needs to buy a content channel or a specific audience."

The results Utzschneider referenced are impressive:

- Brand recall was very high among viewers, 95% for the Honda CR-V and 88% for the Honda Fit.

- 50% of viewers said they were more likely to buy a Honda product after watching an episode featuring the brand.

- Another study showed a 61% lift in purchase intent among Millennials who watched the integration episode (the seventh episode).

- Viewers of the brand integration episode were also more likely to say they would take an action, including 225% more likely to look for more information about Honda.

We asked Utzschneider why the brand lift results were so much more pronounced because it was on Yahoo, and whether she thought brands would continue to shift more of their budgets to addressable video ads:

"As more audiences continue to head online to watch video programming, brands are paying attention and following suit,” Utzschneider said. “We're helping brands like Honda connect with these viewers in more effective ways that increase brand awareness, favorability and purchase intent. We also saw that viewers were emotionally engaged with the branded content in episode seven of Community. As a result, Honda was able to not only build engagement with potential customers, but also increase their likelihood to buy a vehicle."

Clearly, this was a big win for both Yahoo and Honda, and it should serve as a powerful case study for the Yahoo sales team as it pursues large sponsorship deals for its original programming.

Yahoo reportedly paid $20 million for the rights to stream an October 25 NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars. The company may not be able to pull off Community-like product placement, but in terms of the results it can now show to potential sponsors, the seemingly steep price may very well prove to be a bargain.

Below, a video highlighting the Community-Honda integration on Yahoo:

Future of TV Community Honda

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