RPA Stokes Nostalgia for ‘Happy Honda Days’

By Erik Oster 

RPA looks to the gifts that you loved receiving as a kid in its “Happy Honda Days” campaign, celebrating such cultural touchstone of yesteryear as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Stretch Armstrong, Strawberry Shortcake and Gumby.

The ads all follow in a similar formula, with each character asking viewers if they remember how excited they were to receive them as a gift, before saying that they can get that same feeling by purchasing a Honda CRV, Civic or Accord. In the 30-second “Skeletor” spot above, for example, the He-Man villain reminds viewers of the exultation they felt when they got him as a holiday gift, before touting the CRV’s rear-view mirror, used to detect danger (in this case, He-Man). Children of the eighties and/or fans of these characters should appreciate the dose of nostalgia present in these ads as they tout the vehicles’ features, and RPA went ahead and applied the formula to half a dozen different characters so viewers don’t grow tired of the same ad.


“Every season consumers are inundated with holiday ads. Our goal is to break through the clutter by tapping into people’s memories of their favorite childhood toys and helping them relive that feeling of getting something they loved for the holidays by getting a great deal on a new Honda at the Happy Honda Days Sales Event,” explained Susie Rossick, senior manager at American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

The broadcast spot will be supported by print ads in People, Sports Illustrated, and local newspapers in top markets, as well ad network radio ads.


Agency: RPA
EVP, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
SVP, Executive Creative Director: Jason Sperling
SVP, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
VP, Executive Producer: Isadora Chesler
Creative Director: Alicia Dotter Marder
Copywriter: Chris Bradford
Art Director: Joaquin Salim
Sr. Copywriter: Donna Ko
Senior Producer: Fran Wall

SVP, Management Account Director: Brett Bender
SVP, Group Account Director: Fern McCaffrey
Account Supervisor: Jene Crandall
Account Executive: Donny Menjivar
Account Assistant: Eleanor Drake
Business Affairs: Jennifer Ross

Effects Company: Psyop
Directors: Todd Mueller + Fletcher Moules
EP/Managing Partner: Neysa Horsburgh
EP/Managing Partner: Lucia Grillo
EP: Cally Morton Danella
Head of Production: Cori Cooperider
Producer: Shannon Alexander
Assoc. Producer: Nathan Lueptow
Editor: Lance Pereira
VFX Supervisor: Kyle Cassidy
VFX Supervisor: Lane Jolly
Previz Artists: Jeremy Butler, John Fielding, Timothy Kallok, Chris Smith
Modelers: Jonathan Iwata, Jason Kim, Yuo Tengara, Rafael Zabala
Rigger: Sebastian Garcia, Sean Kealey, Vijay Kumar
Lighter: Jonathan Iwata, Jose Martin, Yuo Tengara, Kyle Cassidy
3D Animators: Chris Barsamian, Jean-Dominique Fievet, Timothy Kallok, Chris Smith
2D Animator: Max Graenitz
Storyboard Artists: Philippe Collot, Vince Lee
Compositors: Austin Brown, Michael Dobbs, Lane Jolly, Donna Lanasa, Ryan Raith, Flame Artists: Elad Offer, Sam Shiflett, Kim Stevenson, Michael Vaglienty

Production Company: Smuggler
Partner: Patrick Milling Smith
Partner: Brian Carmody
COO: Lisa Rich
Head of Production: Andrew Coln
UPM: Michael Schlenker
DP: Simon Duggan
Prod. Designer.: Bradley Thordarson

Stop Motion Effects Screen Novelties
EP/Producer: Chris Finnegan
Production Supervisor: Sarah Garcia-Rill
PA: Willy Avila
Art PA: Katrina Schaffer
Animation Supervisor: Eileen Kohlhepp
Stop Motion Animator: Cam Baity
Stop Motion Animator: Kelsey Stillmaker
Rigging Supervisor: Kelly Mazurowski
Rigging Design: Lars Larsen
Prop Master: Roy Wood
DP: Ralph Kaechele
1st AC: Carl Helder
2nd AC: Tony Doublin
Motion Control Operator: Paul Maples
Motion Control Technician: Chris Paxson
Gaffer: Evan Pesses
Best Boy: Billy Coleman
Electric: Nate Fetzer
Key Grip: Dustin Penrod
Grips: Julian Lopez, Brad Budde
Puppet Supervisor: Rob Ronning
Sculptor: Barney Marquez
Costumer: Carol Binion
Puppet Fabricator: Liz Allen
Puppet Fabricator: Jeanette Moffat
Puppet Fabricator: Max Shepard
3D modeler: Kei Chong
Car Prep: Kyle Baker
Car Prep: Dave Wilmot

Audio Post: Lime Studios
Mixer: Dave Wagg
Asst. Mixer: Adam Primark
Producer: Susie Boyajan

Music: Butter Music + Sound LA
EP: Marcus Nelson
Senior Producer: Annick Mayer
Color Correction: Ntropic
Colorist: Marshall Plante