Cool Stuff. We’re Cool Too.

“Hmm, what’s this ad for? Jetpacks? Meh, you need a parachute. Wet swing-sets? Wait, what’s that cool kite? OMG! HOVERCRAFT MOTORCYCLE!!!”

So proceeds the imagined internal dialogue of the 18 – 34 yr. old male target of Honda’s latest bad ad.

“SWEET geodesic solar thingy windows in that industrial start-up loft space! I could start my business there – write Apps and make a million dollars – AND cardboard furniture! OMG! ROBOT BARISTAS!”

To their credit, there haven’t been any obvious references to sex.

“Whoah! Parachute-FREE jetpacks!, and hipster-friendly folding bikes. Wait, what’s this confusingly out-of-place jet? Hmm, nevermind – back to the good stuff – a skin diving airbag float! Baby won’t get the Bends! Hmm, whatsis? – a robo baby carriage? Babies? huh? Whew, that was close – a surfer – no! – a Surfboard Hydroplane! or Hydrofoil! Whichisit? Who cares, a virtual projected keyboard! Why doesn’t my iPhone 5 have that?!?”

The brain is now primed for the switch. So many cool and desirable things splashed quickly onto the screen, slowly peppered with – something.

“Wha? Hondas?”

Things Can Always Be Better

Softly, as the viewer’s brain has been reduced to a rudimentary amygdala mush by the onslaught of cool gadgets, there has been dialogue. Dialogue slowly describing what the advertiser considers the ideal state of mind of innovators. People who believe:

Things Can Always Be Better

Cue the Honda logos. Everywhere. The dialogue continues, “We like those people.”

“They think like us.”

“They think like us.” As in, “We’ve always been thinking that way, and others are just now getting on board.” Or, “We came up with the idea of continuous improvement, and anyone with the same idea is our bro, but ultimately emulating our lead.” Slick. How could anyone think what comes after such coolness is anything but awesome incarnate?

Quick, time to see the car. It doesn’t fly, or hover. But it does seem, briefly, to drive through that sweet start-up loft space.


Broderick, Broderick…

Ferris Bueller, you’re my hero.

Except, not really anymore.

Here is the whole, uncut, extendo-version.

It’s amusing. It’s an homage. It’s a clever remake.

It’s pretty much a complete sellout, and delivers a heartbreaking message: Even if you were as cool as Ferris Bueller, when you get old, you have no friends and have to drive a Honda CR-V instead of a Ferrari.

Broderick goes to the museum. Alone.

To the Amusement Park. Alone.

To the Racetrack. Alone.

To the Beach. Alone.

To Dinner. Alone.

Whatever – even without Cameron or Sloane, it’s fun. “The Hangover” and “Old School” director Todd Philips packs the two and a half minute Ferris-fest with many, many, many little pieces of the original film. Cameron’s Detroit Red Wings sweater makes an appearance. The CR-V boasts a “SO CHOICE” license plate. But the ad wouldn’t have been complete without the iconic Ferris Bueller vest. It’s there. Did you catch it?

Nostalgia aside, however, the message is somewhat better than the current Honda “Leap List” spots. Although the people composing such lists do at least seem to have companions in their lives…

Maybe Broderick should have actually called in sick on this one?

Super Bowl XLVI Ad Preview

With a little over a week to go before the Super Bowl, advertisers are busy ramping up the expectations for what promises to be a slew of violence and/or misogyny-themed (Go-Daddy!, anyone?) commercials. Of course, there are always exceptions. A few of the early sneak-peaks have got me intrigued. Yep, I’m a sucker for this stuff. Why might that be?

I’m now the target demographic.

I’m a thirty-something male. I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s. So, naturally, I must be nostalgic for all things ’80s and ’90s, right? Madonna is the half-time show performer. (Disclosure: Borderline is one of the best songs ever, but she’ll instead be singing Holiday) Ferris Bueller promises to return, selling, well, Hondas. And Star Wars will be represented too, sort of. What more could a guy ask for?!? How about those flying cars they were promising us back in the ’80s. Hondas are great and all, but c’mon!

First up: Save Ferris

Please. Save Ferris. He should have taken Sloane and driven off into the sunset. What’s that? He did? Oh, and they had a few dozen kids? And now he’s driving a Honda. Wait – I drive a Honda! I’m just as cool as Ferris! Everything’s coming up Milhouse!

What if I’m anti-Ferris? I don’t want to drive a Honda. Maybe I went backpacking in Europe in the ’90s and learned about sweet, reliable German cars. OOOoooooohhhh! Cute Doggies!!! AND STAR WARS!!!!!

The dogs are barking the song from Star Wars (Nerds: Yes, I know it’s the Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back) that featured prominently in last year’s excellent and enjoyable Gen-X targeted ad. But now, it’s being rendered by a menagerie of ill-mannered barking dogs, and mini-Darth is nowhere to be seen. VW has produced some exceptional ads over the years, so I’ll reserve judgment on this one. However, this ad is evidently just a teaser for the actual Super Bowl ad, so the eventual ad could stink. We shall see. But if you’re impressed by auto-tuned dogs merely barking… you should see this (it’s not an ad):

Whew, that was fun.

And now a quick look back at my favorite Super Bowl Ad of all time.

Executed with a deep commitment to the bit, “Cat Herders” will always remind me that genuinely creative and smart people are still out there trying to sell me something. The ad is a big metaphor for the many elements that go into providing the services rendered by EDS, and to the dedication that their people have to “managing the complexities of the digital economy.” Little details stand out: camaraderie between herdsmen, an allergic sneeze, the use of a pet-hair roller and a ball of yarn being re-wound. It’s flawless, and never fails to lift my spirits when I see another terrible Go-Daddy! ad.

Now, let the Super Bowl Ads begin!