Super Bowl Ads: Ferris Bueller Takes Another Day Off ... in his Honda CR-V

For some people, scrutinizing the Super Bowl ads is just as much (or more) fun than watching the game itself. This week, I'll be previewing the auto industry's advertising campaigns scheduled to air during the game.

It's been 25 years since "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" hit the big screen. This Sunday, Honda will pay homage to the hit comedy that catapulted Matthew Broderick's career, with a Super Bowl spot featuring Broderick -- as himself -- playing hooky in a 2012 Honda CR-V.

Todd Phillips, who brought us "The Hangover" and "Old School" (two of my favorite movies), directed the commercial, appropriately titled "Matthew's Day Off."

This week, Honda unveiled an extended preview version of "Matthew's Day Off" on YouTube:


The automaker also is offering a sneak peak of its Super Bowl ad on its Facebook page and Google+ page, the latter of which was just launched last week.

Honda Ad Campaign Aimed at 'Hip Gen-Y' Crowd

Honda's fourth-quarter Super Bowl commercial will be "part of an integrated, multiplatform advertising campaign that began earlier this month to support the launch of the all-new Honda CR-V," according to the automaker.

"The campaign encourages the active, hip Gen-Y audience transitioning between their carefree 20s and their more focused 30s to conquer their aspirations by completing their own 'Leap List,'" Honda said in a news release.

Based on what I can glean from the CR-V commercials I've seen recently, the Leap List is the Gen-Y equivalent of the Bucket List -- a mandatory list of things you need to do and places you need to see before you die.

"As with our other CR-V commercials that began airing this month, this fun commercial reminds viewers to go out and embrace life -- do the things you want to do, not just the things you have to do," said Joe Baratelli, EVP, ECD, at RPA, Honda's longstanding ad agency of record.

Exploring the ad campaign's website hub, it seems like a smart and well-conceived advertising gambit. And the CR-V certainly has come a long way from the boxy designs of the 80s and 90s.

Of course, no ad campaign would be complete without a Twitter component. During and after the Super Bowl, Honda is encouraging "fans" to use the #dayoff hashtag to comment on "Matthew's Day Off."

I think the spot will resonate well with Honda's target audience. Whether that puts more Gen-Y hipsters in CR-Vs remains to be seen.

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