This is just too cool. Honda has created the Honda Fit Marketing Challenge a contest where Honda provides 18 universities with a $2,500 operating budget, and let's them design a marketing campaign for the Honda Fit. In the brochures that the students are given, they are encouraged to 'push the envelope' in creating the materials.
This is gold. What Honda has done is taken the Fit's target market, and give them the chance to create the campaign for the product. The campaign judged to be the best will receive $5,000, with 2nd and 3rd place teams receiving $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. As a huge bonus, the top 3 teams will be flown, all-expenses paid, to Honda headquarters in Torrance, Calif., on June 1 to present their campaigns to top executives from Honda and RPA, Honda's advertising agency.
The only question I have about this campaign is, why didn't Honda supply the 18 schools with a Fit to test-drive while preparing their campaigns? Often times the target market is attracted to qualities of a car that might be overlooked in the factory. Still, this genius, you put control of the marketing in the hands of the target market, and give them the motivation to create the best work they can produce.
This is what happens when marketers join the community.