Honda, in anticipation of the 2012 Super Bowl, released a two-plus minute online version of its CRV-V commercial on Jan. 30 in which Matthew Broderick the actor, takes the day off as his Ferris Bueller character did in 1986.
Not only are there direct links to the action in the movie – from the parade scene to the fake coughing and talking to his mom on the phone, but there are many subtler references according to published reports that highlight the use of symbols like a clarinet, pencils, Bueller’s sweater vest, even Matthew on the phone with Grace, a reference to the school secretary.
I am not a die-hard fan of the film, not someone who can state all the lines in cue or remember all the references and I trust that the reports are true and accurate to the pop culture film. I just want to acknowledge that Honda created a message that is very smart to satisfy a couple of objectives. I can just hear the marketing team and advertising agency raring to go on this one because it met a lot of what Honda and this vehicle probably need right now to have success in 2012.
First, the commercial relies on the fundamental latest creative positioning for this brand and vehicle – getting an opportunity to do all kinds of things before it is too late. It’s not quite as desperate as the bucket list – but it is a host of activities that you want to do, and can supposedly do with the CRV-V, before certain life cycle events – getting married, having children, happen.
Second, the message, celebrity and story appeals to the boomers who can afford to buy this vehicle, and the boomlet they birthed that have shared the film and can use the CRV-V too.
And finally, the best thing you can ask for pre-Super Bowl: getting buzz regarding your spot and vehicle by those who see it before “it airs” (as if the Internet isn’t really already "officially" screening it). Now that we have the electronic ability, more and more firms have no problem having you see what they are planning to promote now, online, rather than making you wait for the surprise on Sunday.
The universal message as Matthew/Ferris states, “Life moves pretty fast – if you don’t look around once in a while you’ll miss it,” seems to apply to our lives but not our TV commercials. Now you can look around, and watch them again and again if you want thanks to the miracle of media and technology.