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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Honda Goes the Gamer Route Again, But Are They Missing the Mark?



Honda is the online gaming brand of automotive marketing. Their latest effort is part of the Honda CR-Z launch called 3-Mode Mania. The game gets its name from the three different driving modes available on the car: Sport, Normal and Econ. It's an interesting way to showcase the different driving behaviors of the vehicle, unfortunately the game play is so basic one hardly notices any difference when selecting the different modes.

The Tron-like driving path is very simple with thin red lines displaying the track and you drive what looks like a Monopoly piece car; though, there is a choice of colors to personalize the experience. I tried the game a few times and found it a bit dull since it was too simplistic and like I stated earlier the modes really didn't provide much distinction in game play.

I do find it interesting though that Honda went with an online game for a 2-seat hybrid vehicle. The game for the Honda Fit made a bit more sense since the Fit did market to a younger audience, but the CR-Z seems like a third-car for empty-nesters. Unfortunately, it won't attract the former CRX fans as the CR-Z really missed the mark on being a reincarnation of that excellent, sporty 2-seater.

So my bet is the CR-Z is more likely to be bought by an over-50 demographic with a decent amount of disposible income who want a mild hybrid with a bit of a sporty feel. Personally, it was difficult just writing that last sentance because I'm still not sure who will really buy this car since it lacks decent hybrid numbers, missed the CRX reinvented crowd, and only sits 2 people without all the fun of typical topless or fast third car.

I'd also guess the target consumer is not much of a gamer, unless the brand decided to focus on youth; even though, hybrids barely make a dent in the younger age groups. Therefore, the CR-Z buyers are not likely to play the online game 3-Mode Mania. Perhaps Honda should rethink doing a game every time they launch a small car and instead focus on the activities of their likely buyers. Just a thought...


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1 comment:

Westchester County new honda said...

So, people like to play the game with the name of Honda models.
It's really attractive news for new Honda customers. But in reality I like to drive the Honda CR-Z on which you have defined.