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Honda dealers to talk to TV viewers live in 2005

Honda is piloting an interactive ad that enables prospective car buyers to speak directly to dealerships via their television.

The Japanese car marque plans to roll out the next-generation technology in March in interactive ads for its Civic Type-R model.

The direct-to-dealer function will initially be available only via advertising on cable channels.

A TV viewer would watch an advert for Honda and be prompted to press the red button on their remote control. They will then be able to choose from a list of options, including talking live to a dealer on-screen. Viewers interacting with the ads will be able to ask the dealer questions directly through their TV, as well as being able to find out specification details and book a test-drive.

Honda UK marketing director Simon Thompson believes the ads marked the first stage of opening up an "always-on" communication channel for consumers.

Thompson says that as Honda now receives the majority of customer enquiries via the internet, it made perfect sense to shift its marketing focus to online and interactive TV. Next year, all Honda's ads will contain an interactive element.

Honda believes the new 'dealer of the future' scheme will appeal particularly to people intimidated by going into a dealership and "will prove extremely popular with women".



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