When Honda reveals its next Civic on Nov. 17, the brand will bypass gear heads and car nerds and go straight to gamers. The compact sedan -- one of the most important nameplates in the automaker’s fleet -- will get its world debut on Twitch, the Amazon-owned video game-streaming platform whose popularity has skyrocketed during the pandemic.
Honda will show off the new Civic during in a special episode on Twitch’s “Honda Head2Head” channel, which has carried the automaker’s name since it debuted three years ago as the first and only auto-branded gaming channel on the platform. Tuesday’s show will feature a Fortnite battle pitting top players of the game against well-known Twitch streamers who go by the names of Benjyfishy, Bugha, MrSavage, Jordan Fisher, Dakotaz and ChicaLive. The show includes a musical performance by Cordae, a rapper who got his start as part of the YBN, a gaming-turned-rap collective.
Honda says the Civic debut is the first-ever global vehicle debut on a Twitch-branded gaming channel.
The all-digital event is a departure from the typical approach of showing off new cars at auto shows or other events more closely tied to the auto industry. That approach has been waning in recent years as automakers seek new ways to create buzz—and even more so in the past nine months as brands navigate around the pandemic, which has cut them off from in-person events. Hyundai recently used a virtual event staged at The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills to debut its Tucson, for instance.