Today’s blog hopes that the recent Honda spoof encourages car advertisers to be more adventurous.


Last week the web was all a-chortle with an ad for a second-hand (that’ll be ‘pre-owned’ these days, Ed.) Honda Accord.

If you didn’t see it, here it is:

It’s well written, well shot and well and truly funny.

Of course the joke is very much on the car industry, or to be more specific the car marketing community. Car clients and their agencies will surely be chuckling at the pitch perfect parody of their craft. There isn’t a single word or frame of the sixty-second spoof that hasn’t been lovingly lifted from the car advertising Haynes manual. Right from the sonorous voice over reminding us that “you’re different”, swooping shots of sweeping bends, and the “Luxury is a state of mind” end-line ‘1996 Honda Accord’ is classic car advertising by numbers.

Now there’s nothing unconventional about advertising conventions. Look only to the fragrance, finance or fmcg sectors to see some of the best and worst of them. And as Alan Bennett wrote, “Clichés can be quite fun. That’s how they got to be clichés.” However the automotive industry appears to be locked in a time-warp all of it’s own, an Alan Partridge universe of sorts, which demands that the marque and/or model present itself in the mind’s-eye of the manufacturer alone, some several light-years removed from the reality of the target audience. Of course aspiration is important, yet with the notable exception of Audi and VW, clubbing consumers over the head with clichés and Clarksonisms remains the default approach.

So when the laughter around the boardroom subsides and the punchline lands here’s hoping that ‘Accord’ might encourage advertisers to better reflect the realities of the modern world and in doing so produce car ads that so many marques deserve.

Just like this cracker from VW.