- Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
Adage recently reported on a Honda / Xbox Live partnership where: “The automaker will be the sole sponsor of Xbox Live Primetime’s “Play and Win,” a three-month-long interactive quiz game that will launch May 15. Using Xbox’s internet-connected Live platform, the game will pit one gamer against 100 other gamers. Honda will run the car’s 30-second TV launch ads or 15-second versions in the game for people in the waiting room and during an intermission”
The article goes on to say that the Honda Insight: “is aimed at people between the ages of 24 and 54. Honda expects buyers to range from first-time new-car buyers to empty nesters. The Insight TV ads that will appear in the Xbox game don’t target young people but have a youthful feel.”
Ok. You’re targeting Xbox Live users but not young people but your ad has a youthful feel for that 45 year old businesswoman who after a hard days work is just itching to get on Xbox Live??? Maybe I’m missing something here, but did anybody bother to do their homework? Anybody’s who played on XBL (that’s Xbox Live for the uninitiated) knows that this is ground zero for a much younger demographic and not exactly appealing to the majority of Honda Insight’s target market. Let’s see what the ‘official stats’ say…
Nielsen recently released demographic statistics for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii that showed:
Wii: The best selling of the three systems appeals to boys age 6-11 and women age 25-34. Usage of Wii by women 35+ is much higher than with the Xbox 360 and PS3. Games such as Wii Fit, Guitar Hero and Rock Band appear to have engaged an older female gamer like never before.
Usage of Wii by the 18-24 age group, considered the core/hardcore gaming segment, is low for both genders compared to the other two consoles. However, Wii has been successful in broadening the gaming market to a wider demographic audience. (My note – the casual game audience they seem to want to target…)
Xbox 360: For males, the largest percentage of usage is in the 12-17 age group, older than Wii, but younger than PS3. For females, the 25-34 age group had the highest percentage of usage. These consumers may also be attracted to the other services featured such as Xbox Live, which offers online play, online audio/video chat, and the ability to download movies (now with Netflix as part of the NXE Xbox Live update), classic video and user-generated games, additional game content and music videos.(My note – I can see how they might feel that the female 25-34 age group is right in the demo wheelhouse….but keep reading)
PS3: The Sony console skews the oldest of the three consoles, and that could be the result of consumer brand loyalty, since Sony has been the dominant market player since it introduced the PlayStation in 1994 and PlayStation 2 in 2000. Gamers who owned one or both of these consoles in their youth may have “graduated” to the PS3 in their assumed adulthood. For both males and females, the highest usage came from the 18-24 age group.
In terms of overall usage, males using the Xbox 360 are playing almost twice as many days per months as females (10.2 vs. 5.4 in December), but on the other two consoles, usage days for males and females are much closer. On average, the least used console is the Wii.
To me this last paragraph is key. Most XBL users are much younger males that are more active than the target demo of the Honda Insight promotion. This leaves a very small percentage of XBL users that fall within the target demographic and then you’re banking on that small percentage playing casual games on XBL. Swing and a miss…
This reeks of an agency convincing a client to do something ‘cool’ and ‘cutting edge’ without doing their due diligence. Sure, doing a promotion on XBL sounds cool (and costs a crapload) but you’re much better off targeting casual gamer sites like Pogo, Big Fish Games or Pop Cap Games. Well, at the very least, hopefully the Honda Insight will still be around in 5 – 10 years when the XBL demo they’re currently targeting gets old enough to actually purchase one…