Every holiday season, Honda launches a philanthropic effort to give back to their fans and the local community. This tradition has forged a long-standing relationship between Honda and respected charities, such as the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and the Children's Hospital of Orange County. In 2016, we wanted to continue to show support in a big way during the holidays—a time when people's hearts are open and they are inclined to feel generous. Our objective was to engage Honda fans and in-market shoppers with a heartfelt holiday message, and to generate awareness about the brand's philanthropic and innovative spirit.
The holidays are known for being a magical time of the year, especially for kids. But for those unable to leave the hospital, it can be tough. Not only are these kids undergoing intense treatment, but they're missing out on the simple joy of being home for the holidays. This gave Honda the unique privilege to bring something special to them—a virtual and immersive Candy Cane Lane experience.
Combining Honda's technological ingenuity with some holiday magic, we surprised pediatric patients with a bright and colorful Candy Cane Lane, made entirely in virtual reality. This realistic 360-degree neighborhood was made to resemble one the kids were missing back home. Inside the VR, each child got to experience the beloved tradition of seeing elaborate holiday-light displays, and, for a moment, they also got to escape the routine of hospital life. Wrapping up with a firework finale and a surprise gift from Santa, the virtual journey embodies Honda's founding belief in bringing the power of dreams to life.
By creating engaging, emotional content using unique new formats (virtual reality, 360° video, Snapchat 360° video), Honda was able to brighten the holidays of people everywhere, from kids unable to leave the hospital to their thousands of social media followers. The experience came from a place that was true to the brand. And because the holidays are a season all about giving, this year's Candy-Cane-Lane efforts also gave Honda's philanthropic followers the chance to make a difference by helping donate a total of $100,000 to both charities (Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and CHOC Children's hospital) through a simple "like" of a Facebook post.
We also extended the virtual experience online by posting a YouTube version of the VR that could be viewed on home-VR headsets or as a 360-degree video. The brand also implemented the VR footage to launch their first 360-degree Snapchat placement.
Not only did Honda brighten the holidays of deserving kids, but the campaign gathered over 6.4 million views and 22.4 million impressions over social media alone. We earned over 95,000 likes (50,000 of which were tied to donations) and 3,707 comments of overwhelmingly positive sentiment. Through the help of fans on Facebook, Honda also reached their charity-donation goal of $100,000 in just a few days, showing just how many hearts they touched along the way.
Exposure for the brand and charities continued with a two-and-a-half minute commercial airing of the documentary during the Rose Parade. No matter where the video was viewed, each showing was met with an overwhelmingly positive response. And Honda, a brand that has always believed in bringing the power of dreams to life, proved that the magic of the holidays can in fact find you anywhere.
"Great job, Honda. Your kindness brought tears to my eyes." – Linda H.
"Now THAT is corporate responsibility." – Dutch F.
"Absolutely amazing! I don't know how you guys did it, just absolutely beautiful!!!!" Joann W.