As a piece of film, it's excellent. With subtle hints of '70s cinema, a superb leading man and, well, the song. Does it evoke other ads that have used a similar conveyance/velocity-upgrade device (Nike's "Speed Chain" comes to mind)? Yes. Which makes the argument that the spot is a bit interchangable and doesn't say enough for the brand that much more reasonable.
But overall it gets the thumbs-up because ultimately it works in Honda's favor to link itself to these mini epics—communications that stop audiences, if only briefly, in their tracks. All of the Honda work has served to humanize the brand. And this spot is just so darned relatable. Really, who among us hasn't daydreamed of riding across open terrain in a cool jumpsuit with our journey scored by a cliched anthem of unconquerable will?
And, it beats everything else this week, with the possible exception of "Human Ball," our special PSA jury prize spot of the week. The spot deserves special mention for conveying the terrifying spectre of a rampaging disease through distinctive animated visuals.
There are so many ways the agency could have gone to lend gravity to this message, including, more obviously, conveying the horror in more real, flesh and bone terms. But it's easy to imagine that the shock of the real would be easier to tune out and turn away from. Here, we are drawn into an unfolding horror. Even the opening scene of a man stumbling is poignant and powerful.
In all, the spot is beautiful and terrible. Like life on earth.