Honda Ridgeline to Kick Off Marketing Campaign at Super Bowl
Singing Sheep, Talking Dog, and In-Bed Audio in Full View
Honda is kicking off the marketing campaign for the 2017 Ridgeline in full force today, giving viewers early access to the commercial that will air during Super Bowl 50. Following in the footsteps of other Honda Super Bowl efforts, the new ad is pretty clever, packing many of the Ridgeline’s features into the 60-second spot but without beating people over the head with facts and figures.
Instead, the commercial features a flock of singing sheep who gained their vocal talents, ostensibly, by riding in the bed of their shepherd’s Ridgeline. As we’ve already been told, the Ridgeline will be offered with an in-bed audio system that uses exciters to transmit sound, rather than sensitive cone speakers.
The ad also highlights the Ridgeline’s signature swinging tailgate and in-bed covered trunk, both features Honda customers loved in the previous Ridgeline. The cuts are quick, but the message is clear, if subtle: The Ridgeline is a versatile pickup.
We spoke briefly with Honda’s Assistant Vice President, Marketing Tom Peyton, who said the commercial was crafted to be fun and memorable, rather than educational or heavy-handed. “Even if viewers aren’t in the market for a Ridgeline, we want them to think, ‘Oh, that Honda is so clever,’” Peyton said. “This is a fun advertisement.”
After the spot airs, Honda will open entries for its upcoming Camp Ridgeline sweepstakes with a three-day San Antonio, Texas, getaway as the grand prize. The vacation will include a variety of outdoor adventures, including a chance to put the Ridgeline through its paces.
The spot, which was directed by Brian Buckley, was intended to highlight the truck’s new styling and remind people of the Ridgeline’s unique positioning. “You’re going to see a message of innovation and Honda-ness, rather than a traditional Big Three-type truck commercial,” Peyton said.
By using a polished, hobby-type rancher rather than a grizzled old cowboy for the ad, Honda’s message is clear: This isn’t a truck for towing massive trailers or hauling half a dozen yards of fill dirt. No, instead, the Ridgeline is intended for suburbanites who have interests that require more versatility than a crossover can offer but more comfort than a big truck. Gardeners, hikers, mountain bikers, interstate travelers, and overnight campers will find a lot to like in the Ridgeline, and Honda knows that.
As such, Peyton said to plan on seeing a few different ad campaigns for the Ridgeline, although he winked that the border collie spokesdog from the end of the commercial could make additional appearances in the future. We sure wish more trucks had canine endorsements…