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Honda CR-V commercial: Ferris Bueller takes another day off


ED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in advertising, promotion, search-engine optimization, and viral marketing. No agencies or products are endorsed. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

UPDATE 12:01 a.m. FEB. 1: The clip now has 4,827,077 views, 21,730 likes, and 1,946 dislikes.

UPDATED AT 8:25 P.M. JAN. 30

Honda is cleverly tapping into aging Gen-Xers’ ridiculously bloated sense of ’80s nostalgia with a new extended advertisement for its cross-over vehicle, the CR-V.

(Editor’s note: Although I’m a Gen-Xer, I hate all things ’80s except for Prince, so it pains me to type the rest of this post.)

Matthew Broderick has been cast as himself to sort of reprise his character Ferris Bueller (gag) from the overappreciated, overcelebrated 1986 John Hughes flick Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. For the Millennials who may not remember John Hughes, he was the writer-director who convinced an entire generation that growing up middle- to upper-middle class in the suburbs was really, really, really hard — almost as hard as growing up in, say, 1960s Harlem or the Khmer Rouge’s Cambodia.

Now writer-director Todd Phillips (Old School, The Hangover) wants to convince us that Matthew Broderick actually drives a CR-V and has fun doing it.

And although I hate the movie the ad based on, the 2:25-minute spot isn’t completely without promotional merit: The creators have hidden more than two dozen references to the movie throughout clip, and viewers are encouraged to see how many they can find — which could make for a fun afternoon for folks who have time for that sort of thing.

At the time of this writing, the ad had 307 views, 1,468 likes, and 302 dislikes.

At the time of this update, the clip on YouTube had 433,493 views, 11,350 likes, and 1,288 dislikes.

When I first saw the ad on YouTube, this was one of the top comments (spelling and grammar are uncorrected):

The f*** is this s***? Tease me with what looks like a new ferris beuler movie and give me a honda commercial?.
~ garrettcurrie,
YouTube member

Sorry you’re disappointed, garrettcurrie, but it’s better for the generations to come that there is no Ferris Bueller sequel.

Mere minutes later as I prepared to wrap up this post with a dash more snark, a fellow Gen-Xer weighed in with:

I can’t tell if I appreciate getting a chance to revisit moments from “Day Off”, or if I’m outraged that Honda and MB defaced such a great movie to sell a freaking CRV.

I think Honda will learn that, while the Boomers may have responded well to nostalgia in their targeted advertising, GenXers are more likely to be outraged at having our cultural touchstones exploited.

~ sekhmetrix,
YouTube member

As I said before, I’m a Gen-Xer. But I’m not outraged. Nor am I persuaded. Exploit the touchstones — especially shitty ones. Keep Broderick working and contributing to the economy. Just don’t expect me to buy one of those ugly CR-Vs.
About the Honda YouTube Channel
(As of Jan. 30, 2012)

Date joined: Oct. 10, 2005
Subscribers: 37,958
Video views: 18,293,527

Author: Jacqui Barrineau

Jacqui Barrineau is a writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with husband Trey, a Shetland Sheepdog and two unhelpful-but-funny cats. Her work has appeared in "So to Speak" and "Calliope," and she's a regular contributor to the flash-fiction sites Paragraph Planet and Doorknobs & Bodypaint. Once upon a time, she was the audience engagement editor at USA Today. Now she does other fun things that involve advertising, marketing and social media. The views expressed here and in other outlets are hers, not her clients'. Outside of work, she's proud to serve on the Northern Virginia Community College Marketing Advisory Committee. As a committee member, she joins industry leaders in lending their knowledge and expertise to ensure the college's Marketing curriculum is relevant and responsive to the needs of the students and the surrounding business communities.

2 thoughts on “Honda CR-V commercial: Ferris Bueller takes another day off

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