Marrying Super Bowl Spots to Web Video: How Honda Really Got It Right (in this Marketer’s opinion)

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

I miss Ferris Bueller. I really do. He reminds me of my aspirational days as a high-schooler growing up in the 80s. From how people dressed to the kind of boyfriend I wanted, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, along with some of the Brat Pack movies (St. Elmo’s Fire, The Breakfast Club) epitomized the optimal teen/youth experience and is up there as one of my top movies of all time. (I still own it on VHS!)

Cut to 2012, the Super Bowl. And the internet. And web video. And social media. And apps. And the constant discussion on how to make video go viral. Today’s headline on was “Surprise: Honda’s ‘Ferris Bueller’ Ad is Most-Watched on the Web”.

Surprise? Nope, no surprise here.

The much anticipated Super Bowl spot is why most of us watch the Super Bowl in the first place. Oh, and for the half-time show. (I was pretty impressed with Madge this year). The game doesn’t garner such a huge audience because of the teams playing. Heck, if all people cared about was the game, then really there would only be a select few watching the game on DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket and the rest of us would just treat it as any other Sunday (or maybe as an excuse to eat greasy food).

So, in years past, we would sit patiently, tell people to hush during the commercials, and watch the commercial breaks with baited breath to see how brands would outdo one another. And then we would resume talking during the game — in between devouring chicken wings and chips.

But this year was different. A brand finally put the cart before the horse, or, in this marketer’s opinion, put the horse before the cart. Honda “leaked” the Matthew Broderick/Ferris Bueller spot prior to the Super Bowl. Oh, and it received millions of views before it ever debuted on national television. Brilliant! So even though you saw the spot in advance of the Super Bowl, and shared it on Facebook, Twitter, email and the like, you still sat in anticipation of it to air during the Super Bowl. And it only aired just once in the 2nd half of the game. People of my generation were so intent on seeing the spot that I even had a friend, who is a huge John Hughes fan, ask on Facebook during the game, “Did I miss the Ferris Bueller spot?”. Brilliant. I say Brilliant!! Kudos to Honda and their agency, along with their Strategist and Creative Director who sold the idea into Honda to put the horse before the cart. I nominate this stunt for a Savvy Integrated Marketing Award! And I just may consider buying a Honda product.

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