There are 368 drive-in movie theaters left in America. These have outlasted VHS tapes, DVDs and downloads, but they may not survive the transition to digital-only movies. By the end of 2013, Hollywood will stop shipping out celluloid film reels – so to stay in business, drive-ins will have to buy digital projectors at a cost of $75,000 or more. Not many can afford this cost and may have to close.
Honda’s new socially-fueled multimedia “Project Drive-In” campaign aims to give these outdoor venues a second chance. Says a Honda spokesman: “Cars and drive-in theaters go hand-in-hand, and it’s our mission to save this decades-old slice of Americana … We’re committed to helping the remaining drive-in theaters flourish with the move to digital projection.”
Honda will donate digital projectors to five theaters based on web and social voting; further donations will depend on the results of an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign. This is a great, credible example of a brand getting behind a relevant cause and igniting a social movement.
This generally involves the cooperative efforts of a for profit business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit. These efforts must have an organic alignment to the sponsor brand, as today’s consumers recognize authenticity, and can spot campaigns that don’t have it.