Fred Armisen Hugs Bruce Willis for Honda, RPA

By Erik Oster 

Since few would argue that the commercials were more interesting than the game last night, chances are you saw RPA’s “Hugfest” spot, featuring Bruce Willis and SNL-alum/Portlandia star Fred Armisen.

The simple, straightforward spot features Willis urging viewers to hug those around them that they care about — “the people that matter to you, matter to us” — as a way of emphasizing Honda’s commitment to safety. Armisen then appears and hugs Willis for the duration of the 60 second spot.

“Our simple, yet engaging, big-game spot is intended to highlight not only Honda’s deep concern for the safety of our customers, but the actual industry-leading crash test results that back up our commitment,” explained Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of auto operations at American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

The campaign extends beyond the big game spot, with a large social media component utilizing the hashtag #hugfest. During the Super Bowl, Honda posted “real-time video reactions from Willis about events such as penalties, fumbles and referee calls on the brand’s @Honda Twitter feed.” Immediately after the spot aired, Honda encouraged viewers to send virtual hugs (actually Willis hugging the camera) to loved ones who they couldn’t be near during the big game. Today, Honda is collecting hugs via Twitter by asking people “to send a picture or Vine of their hug with the hash tag #hugfest.” Bruce Willis will then respond with a “meme appraisal of the hug.” Additionally, Honda will have a homepage takeovers at MSN and ESPN, where a 30-second spot “How to Hug” video featuring Willis and Armisen will greet visitors to the sites. You can view “How to Hug,” along with credits after the jump.


EVP, CCO: Joe Baratelli
SVP, ECD: Jason Sperling
VP, Creative Director (AD): Chuck Blackwell
VP, Creative Director (Copy): Ken Pappanduros
Copywriter: Chris Juhas
Art Director: Ben Tolbert
SVP, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
VP, Executive Producer: Isadora Chesler
Digital Project Management/Program Manager: Elizabeth Goldstein

Production Company: MJZ
Director: Craig Gillespie
EP: Emma Wilcockson
Line Producer: Deb Tietjen
DP: Gyula Pados

Social/Online Videos Production Company: Full On Service Inc.
Director: Jason Sperling
DP: Pete Konczal
EP: Jim Czarnecki
Line Producer: Craig DiBiase

Editorial/Finishing: Union Editorial
Editor: Jim Haygood
EP: Michael Raimondi
Producer: Joe Ross
Assistant Editor: Dylan Firshein
Online Producer: Logan Aires
Editor Social/Online Videos: Jay Friedkin

Telecine: MPC
Artist: Ricky Gausis
EP: Ed Koenig
Asst.: Kris Smale

Audio/Final Mix: Lime Studios
Mixer: Dave Wagg & Sam Casas
Producer: Jessica Locke
Celebrity Talent: Bruce Willis & Fred Armisen


EVP, CCO: Joe Baratelli
SVP, ECD: Jason Sperling
VP, Creative Director (AD): Chuck Blackwell
VP, Creative Director (Copy): Ken Pappanduros
VP, Creative Social Media Director: J. Barbush
Creative Director (Copy): Kevin Butler
Creative Director (Art): Jerome Austria
Sr. AD: Sarah Hass
CW: Katie Desplinter
Jr. AD: Fritz Paguio
Social Media Copywriter: Laura Kelley
VP, Executive Producer: Isadora Chesler

Sr. Production Artist: Chris Gomez

VP, Program Director: Dave Brezinski
Sr. Project Manager: Lori Chin
Program Manager: Liz Goldstein
Associate Project Manager: Andrew Serrato

VP, User Experience Director: Pramit Nairi
Associate User Experience Architect: Alesha Unpingco
VP, Digital Design Director: Michael Takeshita
Technology Manager: Bradley Stone