Austin City Limits and Honda: An Unlikely, Mutually Beneficial Pairing

As far as anyone can remember, Honda has been one of the primary Japanese automobile manufacturers that’s slowly but surely spread out to all corners of the globe. They’ve come a long way from competing in the world of automobile manufactures. Today, Honda is at the forefront of investing in local US events and communities. Their cause is noble for a company with their size and it simultaneously allows them to achieve much more than pure auto-mechanical glory. The recent Austin City Limits festival is just one of the many events that Honda has poured its resources into. As you may or may not know, Honda has been the largest sponsor of ACL for years. Without them, the big names like Gorillaz, ZHU, Jay Z and Red Hot Chilli Peppers might not have made it onto the lineup. Even worse, ACL itself, one of the most talked-about music festivals in the US, might not even be a possibility without Honda.

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[The Honda Stage]

By now it’s no secret that every major festival/event has a large brand backing it up with sponsorships. Some companies prefer to merely advertise on the sidelines, however, Honda has taken on a pioneering role in a completely fresh marketing perspective. Honda’s efforts are much more valiant than simply placing an ad at a random event for marketing purposes. Since 2014, they’ve poured millions into a new marketing campaign that’s all about realization. The 3-year strong “Honda Stage” campaign has seen the magnate manufacturer host, curate and enrich music-centric events as well as distribute digital media content in the form of music.

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[The Honda Crew Showing off Honda’s New Model]

Without a doubt, Honda has singlehandedly been responsible for enriching a plethora of music festivals in the last three years. Austin City Limits is just one example of many, however, it’s certainly one of the most fruitful campaigns. They’re also cranking up music creation and distribution in the digital world via a mainstream YouTube platform among other online campaigns. It’s safe to say that this fresh take on marketing has paid off quite well for not only Honda but all other involved parties, including the festival attendees – they get to listen to bigger names and more music, and everybody wins.

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[Austin City Limits Festival]

This kind of attempt at marketing is yet to be taken on by another globally popular car manufacturer. Honda has consistently invested back to the community in an attempt to market itself to younger audiences, and so far it’s been nothing but a mass mutual benefit. The Austin City Limits festival this year was just the first large example of the enrichment possible through this kind of partnership. Every year the budget for ACL becomes larger, and as the largest sponsor of the festival, Honda is the key player responsible for this growth. If Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar were the headliners of 2016, 2017 features names such as Jay-Z, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and the Gorillaz – artists which are far more financially demanding. Jay-Z alone is worth well over a few mainstream names simply due to his mogul status.

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[Chance the Rapper performing at 2017’s Austin City Limits Music Festival]

As an Asian company that’s originated in Japan, Honda has really outdone itself with its new marketing approach. Not only have they enabled more music festivals to take place, they’ve also widened their berth, allowing them to become even more spectacular than ever before thanks to a higher budget. Moreover, the US music industry has seen a significant expansion in recent years due to the efforts of Asian companies. Platforms like Sean Miyashiro’s 88Rising have given both Asian and American artists a new sphere to grow on, bypassing the often-biased executives of large record labels. It’s incredible to see a multi-million dollar magnate like Honda take on a new, wholesome approach to marketing by invest into local events and communities. Delving into the musical industry is something an auto manufacturer has never done before, but it’s certainly a mutually-beneficial prospect that enriches the lives of all involved parties.