Ad of the Day: Honda Spreads a Message of Hope in a World of Chaos and Conflict

RPA's inspiring Civic campaign

Honda wants you to know something: This world is not actually as horrible and soul-crushing a place as it appears.

In a lengthy online anthem titled "Today Is Pretty Great," which launches a new Gen Y-focused campaign for the redesigned Civic Coupe and Si Coupe, the automaker and agency RPA partnered with modern bluesmen Vintage Trouble to create a spot highlighting all the good things happening in a world also beset by conflict and climate change.

The examples of reasons to hope, however, are a bit of a mixed bag. The spot leans heavily on pop culture and Internet fads, likely in hopes of keeping the message from seeming overly serious. But in the end, selfies, beards, cosplay and screaming goats seem pretty underwhelming compared to some of the spot's more serious optimism boosters, like artificial blood, genetic therapy and metamaterials (which could enable everything from invisibility to next-generation wireless communication).

"This new Civic campaign connects with a new generation of buyers by prompting them to focus on the positive and consider what they love about today," said Honda's svp of auto operations, Mike Accavitti. "The Civic campaign also introduces a crew of fun pop cultural references that will pique Gen Y's attention across media they frequent."

To help create a message tailored to millennials, Honda partnered with popular Cartoon Network show Adventure Time and Internet meme Nyan Cat, along with some lesser-known content creators like singer-songwriter Laura Maust. (Despite being shown in the clip as a viral sensation who's racked up a million views, Maust actually has less than 20,000 views on her most popular YouTube performance at the moment. Of course, being in a major ad like this might help turn her portrayal into reality.)

The full campaign, "One More Thing to Love About Today," includes a 30-second TV spot, digital takeovers of popular sites and print ads.

Perhaps most interesting, Honda is partnering with Spotify to create a "digital scrapbook" that lets you connect your social-media posts from across the years to the specific music you were listening to when you first posted each update.

So, will this campaign be enough to convince millennials that Honda is the ultimate partner for a carefree yet socially aware and technologically literate lifestyle? If not, they can always lean harder into their celebrity endorsements from Jake the Dog, Finn the Human and Princess Bubblegum.


Client: Honda

Title: "Today Is Pretty Great – Performance"

Agency: RPA

Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Barratelli

Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director: Jason Sperling

Senior Vice President, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff

Vice Presidents, Creative Directors: Chuck Blackwell, Ken Pappanduros

Creative Directors: Gage Clegg, Becca Morton

Vice President, Executive Producer: Isadora Chesler

Senior Producer: Jack Epsteen

Production Company: Rabbit Content

Director: +jacksonkarinja

Editing: Lost Planet

Editors: Hank Corwin (:30s), Federico Brusilovsky (long form)

Music: HUM

Artist: Vintage Trouble

—Print credits

Agency: RPA

Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli

Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director: Jason Sperling

Creative Directors: Gage Clegg, Becca Morton

Art Director: Michael Enriquez

Retoucher: Peter Modaffari

Art Buyers: Ginnie Assenza, Jessica Maxwell

Production Manager: Renato Quilalang