Ad of the Day: How Do You Get a Ghost Out of Your 1996 Honda Civic?

With an exorcism, of course

It's Halloween, folks. And you know what that means? Time to roll out the "spooky" marketing stunts! The yearly onslaught of Halloween-themed viral ads has become a tradition that's getting up there with super-clever-but-actually-lame April Fools' Day pranks on the list of overused holiday marketing strategies.

One of the more ridiculous entries in this year's jumble comes from Honda. Taking a cue from the equally ridiculous (and, God help us, popular) trend of "ghost-hunting" TV shows, Honda decided to perform—and film—an exorcism. On a car.

The backstory: "Ernie," the owner of a 1996 Honda Civic, posted a comment on Honda's Facebook page saying his car was "haunted." Sensing the opportunity for a Halloween marketing ploy, Honda called up Erik Vanlier, a "real ghost hunter" (Honda's definition of "real" may be synonymous with "has a website") to investigate the source of the strange voices and "touching" reported by Ernie.

Armed with a tape recorder and an alternate version of reality, Vanlier manages to converse with the "spirits" (and/or random AM radio snippets) inhabiting Ernie's vehicle, and then proceeds to "cleanse" it by burning some sage and pleading, "Spirits, I need you to leave, OK?" Apparently, it works: After getting back in the car, Ernie tells the camera, "It definitely feels like something's not here anymore."

In the aftermath of such decisive triumph, it's hard to choose a single winner, but we're going to go with the spirits who have finally been released from 17 long years of haunting the backseat of a Honda Civic.

Congratulations, you guys, and Happy Halloween!


Client: American Honda Motor Co.

Manager of Honda & Acura Social Marketing: Alicia Jones