At a time when car sales widely are declining, Honda is seeking to drive awareness and engagement with a broad audience of gamers via its latest push on Twitch that taps into the nexus of interest in the livestreaming platform, a popular creator and Fortnite itself. The Fortnite game category on Twitch has over 80 million followers, per details shared by the brand.
The Hondaverse — a clear nod to increasing marketer interest in the nascent concept of a metaverse — consists of custom built maps in Fortnite, the first of which is built around the new 2023 Honda HR-V. Twitch streamer SypherPK will host three livestreams in the Hondaverse on June 30, July 13 and Aug. 1 set to include challenges that allow fans to win prizes. The repeated engagement with SypherPK’s fans around the HR-V could help introduce the model to his online community.
Unlike some other activations in Fortnite, the Hondaverse was independently developed using Fortnite’s Creative Tools and is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by developer Epic Games. The independent development and partnership with a popular Twitch streamer follows a recent activation by Unilever’s Axe brand that used a similar strategy, which gives brands greater control over their activities.
Honda has previous experience leveraging Twitch to reach and engage with gaming audiences. In 2019, it was the first car brand to launch a branded gaming channel on the platform which it has used to debut a vehicle. An early mover in the gaming space, Honda this month expanded its relationship with Team Liquid, becoming a naming-rights sponsor of the esports organization — a first in the space.
In recent years, Honda has used Twitch to move its cultural brand-building activities beyond gaming audiences, launching a mixed reality musical experience and reimagining its Twitch channel as Honda DreamLab to expand its focus to lifestyle content that includes but is not limited to gaming. The evolved focus demonstrates how livestreaming has grown to encompass other areas beyond gaming that Honda can tap into to engage with younger consumers.