Honda “Reliability”

Flattery may not get you everywhere, but it’ll give you a head start in the right direction. This Honda spot (via RPA of Santa Monica, Calif.) prudently acts on that principle as it shows self-sacrificing parents out of bed at the crack of dawn to drive their kids to hockey practice. It’s an effective buildup to the voiceover, “As reliable as the people who drive them. Honda, official vehicle of the NHL and hockey parents everywhere.” Having been praised themselves, viewers who fall into this category (or, for that matter, who are dutiful parents in non-hockey ways) will be more in the mood to accept the spot’s praise of Honda. Indeed, they’ll enjoy the fact that they’ve implicitly upstaged the NHL players, who (despite Honda’s “official” status) get no more than an indirect mention at the very end of the spot. Isn’t it nice to think a brand is basking in your reflected glory rather than in that of some overpaid-but-undertoothed Canadian? -Mark Dolliver