Honda Commercializes Couple's Wedding. Is That A Good Thing?


I don't know. Commercializing a wedding? Even if it is handled as beautifully and as generously as Honda did for Mairead and Kevin's wedding? The brand brought cars, the couple's first date band, an Irish dance troupe (family is from Ireland)), $2,000 from Macy's, family messages from Ireland...and actual family from Ireland.

It was a grand gesture to a couple of brand aficionados. But isn't a wedding a sacred affair to be shared with family and friends? Not broadcast on YouTube to the ultimate benefit of Honda who in a sense, "used" Mairead and Kevin for their own publicity purposes?

Oh sure, no doubt there was some genuine human emotion from those involved at Honda but, again, what's the end goal? If it was simply to be generous to Mairead and Keviv, then why film the whole thing, send out a press release and post a video on YouTube?

The work, from RPA, is part of the brand's Start Something Special campaign which asked Honda fans to share the special relationships the have with their Hondas. To be clear, Mairead and Kevin invited Honda and were told the stunt might be part of a marketing campaign. They just didn't know how much Honda would be a part of their special day.

So we guess there can't really be all that much to complain about if Honda was, for all intents and purposes, invited to the wedding. But we can't get past the notion that there's really nothing left in life that hasn't been commercialized.

Now that may sound crazy coming from someone who's actually a fan of native advertising (mostly because regular advertising sucks and is annoying), but the rise of social media has given way to a marketing world in which there is no longer a separation between commercial life and private life.

On the flip side, branded social media is controlled by, one would hope, caring human beings who have genuinely heartfelt concerns for fellow members of the human race. So while we may hate marketers for intruding on our lives, we really shouldn't because brands are run by, again one would hope, genuine, caring human beings who just want to do good.

Perhaps it's a bit like Lieutenant General Hal Moore who (played by Mel Gibson in the movie "We Were Soldiers") said, "Hate war, but love the American warrior." In the war-like world of marketing, that might be translated to "Hate marketing, but love the marketing warrior."

Social media has given brands the ability to be more human, more caring, more involved in the personal aspects of people's lives. Done right, this can be a very good thing. Done poorly, as we've seen far too many times before, it can be far worse than old school marketing.

Here, again one would hope, Honda just wanted to do something nice. But, unlike the American soldier who performs out of a sense of duty (yes, they get paid) for country and isn't looking for fame, fortune and profit, Honda is looking for fame, fortune and profit. And they're doing so by injecting themselves (yes, they were invited) into the private lives of Mairead and Kevin.

by Steve Hall    Oct-28-13   Click to Comment   
Topic: Opinion