“Matthew’s Day Off” became one of the most anticipated ads of Super Bowl XLVI when Honda posted a teaser spot on YouTube two weeks before the game. The teaser only showed Matthew Broderick opening the shades and asking the camera, “How can I handle work on a day like today?” -- an echo of the scene in the 1986 movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” when a 24-year-old Broderick asks, "How can I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?" Three highly recognizable notes of a song from the movie, Yello’s “Oh Yeah,” seal the deal.
Nostalgia, as noted elsewhere, works for the Super Bowl. It gets audiences’ attention, at least. The final spot for the CR-V inevitably struggled to match the joy of the original feature film, but it made a coherent argument.
"We want to entertain an audience, engage them into the brand and generate buzz and excitement," Mike Accavitti, chief marketing officer at American Honda, told Automotive News then. "Ferris' whole thing was to smell the roses because life moves pretty fast," he said . "While our competitors are suggesting people use cars to escape life, we're saying, 'Go embrace it; have some fun.'"
On Honda's multimillion-dollar investment in the Super Bowl -- the automaker also bought time for Acura (“Transactions”), Mr. Accavitti said, "Everything we do, we measure and analyze. So while Super Bowl ads are expensive endeavors, the reach you get, if done correctly, the lead-up and long-tail follow-up take the [cost-per-million viewers] below normal TV levels."
Honda promoted the CR-V when it was new in 1997's Super Bowl XXXI ("News").
“Matthew’s Day Off” was created by RPA and directed by Todd Phillips, known for his work on "The Hangover" and "Old School." The music for the spot is, appropriately, "Oh Yeah."Send credit info to SuperBowlAdArchive@adage.com.