Honda's Ferris Bueller Ad Gives Us High-Hopes for the Super Bowl

There seem to be a couple of trends among Super Bowl advertisers this year that have got us brimming with anticipation for Sunday's big advertising-fest...uh, I mean "big game."

  1. More "teaser" and "pre-release" ads over the Internet
  2. Long-form ads that break the monotony of the 30 second commercial.

The Super Bowl is pure spectacular for advertisers. It is their chance to go over-the-top and show of their best creative thinking. And it looks to me like this year is shaping up to be quite an innovative year. From Coca-Cola's interactive Polar Bear Bowl experience, to Volkswagen's social media tie-in and Star Wars theme, it looks like we'll all be sitting at the edge of our chairs during the game this Sunday.

Several advertisers, like Acura, are pre-releasing their ads on the Internet, and plan to run long-form ads on the Super Bowl that break with the 30-second rule of corporate advertising.

Another advertiser has been teasing us with promo spots for their commercial. Yes, they've been releasing mini-ads to drive interest in their real ads that will run during the game. If it sounds complex and pre-planned, it is.

Honda is planning a big-spectacle campaign for the launch of its re-designed CR-V. The campaign started with 15 second teaser ads featuring Matthew Broderick reprising his role from John Hughes' classic 1986 Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Early news reports pegged the teaser video as a Hollywood tease for the release of a movie sequel, but we quickly learned that it was an advertising tie-in to Honda. Fans will have to wait for a real sequel.

Now they've released a 2 minute, 30 second spot featuring Broderick as Bueller with all the nostalgic cues to remind you of the 80's classic. A perfect brand connection for the family-oriended buyers of the mini-SUV.

We think Ferris Bueller creator John Hughes, as a former ad-man himself would have embraced the movie tie-in with gusto, and been thrilled with all of the film allusions used in the spot.


The spot is laden with of cinematic references. The Ferrari in the film is replaced by the Honda (of course), but there are more entertaining illusions that don't wreak of platant ad-sell. The villainous but easily-duped  Principal Rooney is now Broderick’s agent . The German Octorberfest parade in the film has turned into a Chinatown New Year's parade. And of course there is a nod to Ben Stein's classic deadpan delivery of calling Bueller's name in classroom roll-call. Stein's been replaced by a parking valet calling the actor to his Honda CR-V with a monotonous “Broderick… Broderick…” 

The ad is pure enjoyment, and hopefully a precurser to a game day of advertisingpalooza.

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