Honda “Happy Drivers”

Holiday retail commercials tend to be cheesy; automotive ads tend to be formulaic. Thus, one would expect a holiday-themed automotive spot to be cheesily formulaic. Let us tip our Santa hats, then, to Honda (and agency RPA) for this year’s incarnation of the brand’s annual “Happy Honda Days” campaign. The combination of stop-motion visuals and illustrated backdrops is pleasing and distinctive looking. The visual action — including a couple sweaters that light up(!), plus a snowball fight and some gift wrapping — manages to create a holiday mood without making you wish it were already January and the whole damn holiday-shopping season were behind us. And the music track by indie band Vampire Weekend will engage the hipsters (or, at least, the wanna-be-hipsters) in the viewing audience while being no worse than mildly annoying to the rest of us, which in itself is a noteworthy accomplishment. –Mark Dolliver