With flood waters in Thailand still afflicting its global supply chain, what Honda could use right now is some distractions. How about its own sense of humor — and some exciting future products?
OK. Honda and its Acura luxury brand are certainly coming through with the former, launching seasonal advertising campaigns to promote their holiday-incentive programs. Happy Honda Days here back again, delivering fine shots of irreverence just as Americans might be ready for such a 'tude, bracing for the holiday commercial avalanche.
For instance, "Elves are shoddy craftsmen," intones the Honda brand's dry-humored new spokesman, actor Patrick Warburton, in one new spot, clad in a festive red cardigan. By contrast, he says, Honda vehicles are made by "real human beings, with a dedication to quality."
And just to make sure the Yuletide-flouting point isn't lost, he adds: "You don't build the most durable, longest-lasting line of cars in their class with weak little elf hands."
Another new Honda spot tweaks Lexus. Warburton pulls a big red bow off the top of a Honda as he asks, "Are you a millionaire? No. Then you probably don't give cars to people as presents. But you might need one for yourself."
Meanwhile, Acura is creating its own sort of mischief with ads for its annual year-end push, "Season of Reason." This year, its holiday spots feature Bette Midler and chef Gordon Ramsay as what MediaPost calls "the embodiment of affluent profligacy." In one spot, a caroler hires Midler to make his singing group the best around, but then Midler goes crazy and upstages the whole event.
"Our goal is to stand out in the pack of end-of-the-year automotive advertising by being clever and wry, and these spots portraying holiday zealots overspending to hire personal celebrities are a funny twist on our successful past holiday campaigns," said Susie Rossick, brand manager of Acura National Advertising, in a statement.
And if Honda can ever once again restore its full supply of conventional models to global markets after the flooding in Thailand, it's got some interesting future technology in the pipeline, including an electric-superbike concept that it's showing off at the Tokyo Auto Show and a natural-gas-powered Civic that it's rolling out to more states.
It'd be interesting to see what Warburton could do with an electric superbike.
Below, watch the Honda seasonal spots vs. Acura's Bette Midler and Gordon Ramsay spots and tell us what you think —