“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” At this point if you aren’t fighting the urge to sing Yello’s Oh Yeah (bown bown ch-chickachickaaa) and call in sick for work then you probably won’t understand my indignation at the release of the 2012 Honda CR-V advert. You will share my confusion, because you will have no idea what Matthew Broderick is doing, or why Honda hired him. ‘Why’, you will doubtless think to yourself, ‘is this slightly chubby man getting so upset about a stuffed walrus?’
He is the walrus, kids: John Lennon style. But I digress. Please immediately buy, borrow, or steal a copy of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (or even just watch the trailer) and explain to me why this Ferris Bueller -spoof advert would inspire anyone to purchase a Honda.
Aside from the very point of the cult 80’s film being that life’s too short to not have fun – which is hardly a message that resonates with Honda’s image – it so heavily features a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California that the car is almost a character in itself. And it is such a beautiful character. It is so beautiful that it makes those documentaries about people who want to marry cars seem normal. If I had to play ‘snog, marry, avoid’ with the Ferrari, the woman who put that cat in a bin, and Rupert Murdoch, for instance, I would not lose any sleep over saying “I do” to the car, tying some tin cans to my husband’s backside, climbing inside him and driving off into the sunset.
The same cannot be said for the Honda. I don’t know much about cars, but I do know that if the CR-V showed up as a contestant on Take Me Out the chances of it getting a date would be slim. “You seem too nice” and “let’s just be friends”, girls would say apologetically as they banged off their lights. Ferris Bueller – the sausage king of Chicago; one of our most-loved teenage dreamers – would never be content with a CR-V. I feel as though Honda have just spitefully added two and a half minutes of full disclosure to final credits of the film, letting us know that Ferris grew up, gave up, and ended up with a receding hairline and a Honda (not to mention a wife often compared to a horse).
It isn’t that I have anything against Honda: I normally enjoy their adverts and do like to think that your typical Honda driver would swerve to avoid a squirrel. But if I had a spare £22, 585 I wouldn’t buy a CR-V. I am much more impressed by Volkswagen’s Game Day commercial. Even the teaser trailer is brilliant. I am not left feeling confused or let down. I can identify with the star, rather than thinking he must just be extremely short of cash. It is both funny and clever. It is inspirational, it is beautiful: it is a fantastic piece of advertising that actually makes me reach for my purse.
I want to buy a St Bernard/Australian Shepherd mix, please.