Honda Tells Prominent Pinners to Stop; There’s Method to the Madness

While the American Honda Motor Co.'s Pinterest page may be just a week old, the company is already going against the grain. While most brands are eager to have its followers pin their own content up on brand pages, Honda is paying its most influential pinners $500 each to take a "Pintermission," a 24-hour pinning break.

Part of the reason, according to the Ad Age article, is so the company can pin its own content, which will lead followers directly to its Web site for more information about its Honda CR-V, a car that skews toward Pinterest's predominately female audience.

According to Lisa Weser, senior VP at Fleishman-Hillard, Honda's move is a clever call to action that is likely to get results. Pinerly statistics show that pins with a call to action see an 80% increase in engagement. So Honda’s bet is a good one, says Weser. "Asking people to stop pinning for one day will ultimately get them pinning more," she says.

Hilary Topper, president and CEO of HJMT Public Relations, agrees with Weser that the strategy is sound—and cost effective. "Offering influentials $500 is a cheap, creative way to advertise," says Topper. Honda said that at least two of the influentials will use the money towards vacations at destinations they've been pinning about, like London and Hawaii. "They'll be motivated to pin Honda cars when they return and also write about the experience," says Topper.

The campaign does beg the question: How do you identify the influential pinners on your Pinterest page? Weser says it's not that difficult. Individual users and brands can choose from a variety of emerging services such as PinPuff, Pinerly and Curalate to mine Pinterest data, manage marketing campaigns and measure reach. "In many cases these services are free or of minimal cost," says Weser.

[Editor's note: When this story and Honda logo was pinned to PR News' own Pinterest board, a "$500" wrap-around appeared over  the logo.]

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About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.

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