RPA, Honda Find Sheep Somebody to Love

By Erik Oster 

One of the more notable trends thus far from the Super Bowl spots and trailers we’ve seen released so far is a lack of animals, with Budweiser’s decision not to bring back its puppy seemingly leading the charge away from animal-centric ads in the big game (although Subaru is running ads by Carmichael Lynch featuring the return of “The Barkleys” during Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl). But never fear, Super Bowl-watching animal lovers, RPA has you covered with their big game spot for Honda, which promotes the 2017 Honda Ridgeline and stars a group of singing sheep.

The spot, entitled “A New Truck to Love,” utilizes said sheep, who belt out a version of Queen’s “Somebody to Love” (reputedly Freddie Mercury‘s favorite song) to highlight the Ridgeline’s truck-bed audio system. It opens with sheep being loaded off the truck and the song playing in the background. Soon the entire flock is belting the Queen classic, until their owner returns (with the song blasting from the truck bed) and they fall silent. It may seem strange to spend an entire 60-second spot (backed by a Super Bowl buy no less) on a truck’s audio system, but Honda clearly sees it as a strong selling point. 

“It’s a very unique feature,” Honda associate vice president of marketing Tom Peyton told Adweek. “Nobody else has it. And it’s a little tough to communicate—although we will in some advertising later this spring, when the truck’s at the dealers. It’s not actually speakers. It’s ‘exciters’ that makes the whole bed a speaker. It’s pretty cool. …It would make a great tailgate vehicle.”

Asked about the music selection, Peyton quipped “It was the only song the sheep knew.”

“We aren’t the first come out with dogs or horses or puppies [on the Super Bowl],” he added. “But it is the one property where people truly tune in to see the commercials. And this is certainly playing to that type of content they’re looking for.”