Honda and the new 2017 Ridgeline are ready for Super Bowl 50, the showdown between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos on February 7. During the third quarter, Honda’s new full-minute spot titled “A New Truck to Love” shows the Ridgeline’s exclusive In-Bed Audio system with the help of singing sheep and a talking dog.
"Great Super Bowl spots are entertaining for the fans while communicating an essential value of the product, and we believe our Honda Ridgeline commercial accomplishes both objectives in dramatic fashion," says Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Automobile Division. "With so many truck buyers passionate about football, the big game is the perfect setting to introduce the all-new Ridgeline, and the distinctive features that make it the ultimate tailgating vehicle."
The In-Bed Audio isn’t the only feature to make an appearance. The Ridgeline’s eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, the dual-action tailgate, and the in-bed storage trunk are all prominently shown. Honda also shows the Ridgeline doing farm work – something that isn’t normally associated with the unibody pickup. While it might have only been hauling a few sheep, some hay, and a few bags of feed, the truck was no less dirty. Perhaps it’s a subliminal gesture to suggest the Ridgeline isn’t a wanna-be truck.
Regardless, the commercial seems to combine humor, fluffy animals, and a timeless song from one of the most recognizable bands to ever hail from England. The Queen song, “Somebody to Love” also somehow suggests the Ridgeline is for those who are unsatisfied with the current crop of mid-size pickups – or at least that’s the message that I gather.
With that, be sure to watch Honda’s new Super Bowl spot with headphones. Those sheep have some killer harmony.
The Super Bowl has become the Mecca of advertizing thanks to its record-breaking TV viewership. Last year’s game between the Patriots and Seahawks had an average viewership of 114.4 million, breaking every previous television viewership record in existence. With so many folks watching this gives advertisers a wide, wide audience and the chance to catch people who maybe aren’t seeing other forms of advertising. Humor, animals, and memorable songs are all great things to have in a commercial.
We expect to see several other automakers releasing Super Bowl ads in hopes of cashing in on the crowds. Speaking of cash, Super Bowl ads aren’t cheap. Reports are suggesting 30-second spots could exceed $5 million for Super Bowl 50. One-minute commercials would double the bill to $10 million. Talk about an expensive time slot!
Honda today offered a sneak peek of the brand’s commercial for Super Bowl 50 starring the highly innovative 2017 Honda Ridgeline pickup, a wily herding dog and a flock of sheep singing a classic Queen song, "Somebody to Love." Fans tuning in to Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, Feb. 7, will see the 60-second spot, "A New Truck to Love," during the third quarter, but the entertaining commercial is now available for viewing in its entirety on Honda’s YouTube channel (http://honda.us/BigGameCommercial).
Directed by Oscar-nominated director Bryan Buckley — dubbed "King of the Super Bowl" for his role in bringing to life more than 40 commercials for the big game — the new Honda commercial imagines how a rancher might use one of Ridgeline’s available features, the industry’s very first factory truck-bed audio system, enabling music to play outside the truck. This poses the question, "What if his sheep learned how to sing?" with the commercial showing the sheep being dropped off by the new Ridgeline and then performing the classic Queen hit after the rancher departs.
The spot signals not only Honda’s return to the Super Bowl, but the return of the all-new Ridgeline to market. A pickup unlike any other, Ridgeline’s innovative features include the available truck-bed audio system and the standard in-bed storage trunk and dual-action tailgate — all industry-exclusive features.
"Great Super Bowl spots are entertaining for the fans while communicating an essential value of the product, and we believe our Honda Ridgeline commercial accomplishes both objectives in dramatic fashion," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Automobile Division. "With so many truck buyers passionate about football, the big game is the perfect setting to introduce the all-new Ridgeline, and the distinctive features that make it the ultimate tailgating vehicle."
"A New Truck to Love" Storyline and Direction
Acclaimed director Bryan Buckley was selected to bring this story to life, both for his experience in creating entertaining Super Bowl ads with a beautiful, cinematic feel and his ability to create the nuanced comedic tone Honda was seeking with this spot.
Created and produced by RPA, agency of record for Honda, "A New Truck to Love" was shot using real sheep and a trained sheep dog. The special effects were produced staying true to the anatomy and natural behavior of sheep. This included study of the movement of sheep’s mouths to determine how their facial muscles might react while singing.
Camp Ridgeline and Additional Campaign Elements
The Super Bowl spot kicks off a new multiplatform campaign that will effectively re-launch the Ridgeline truck, including activations across several platforms, screens and online properties. As part of the digital campaign, Honda will take over the ESPN and MSN home pages on Sun., Feb. 7, and Mon., Feb. 8. Short videos will be posted to Honda’s social channels before and after the Super Bowl highlighting the truck’s new features. A lead generation card will run on Twitter throughout February for users who would like to sign up for additional information on the all-new Ridgeline.
Unique to the Ridgeline campaign, and a first for the Honda brand for a new-vehicle launch, is the opportunity for consumers who request additional information on the new Ridgeline on www.campridgeline.com to enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to "Camp Ridgeline" — a ride-and-drive experience on May 21 at Rio Cibolo Ranch in San Antonio, TX. Ten sweepstakes winners will enjoy the three-day, two-night experience with a guest, to include round-trip coach-class airfare, hotel accommodations, meals and participation in the "Ride-and-Drive" Event. To enter and for full rules and details, visit: www.campridgeline.com
Honda at the Super Bowl
The all-new 2017 Ridgeline television spot marks the Honda brand’s first official Super Bowl commercial since 2014 and Super Bowl 48’s "Hugfest," promoting safety and generating significant social engagement during and after the big game. During Super Bowl 46, Honda’s "Matthew’s Day Off" spot starred a well-known coming-of-age character to connect with the 2012 CR-V’s youthful target audience.
Redesigned and Re-engineered 2017 Honda Ridgeline
Fresh from its heralded global debut on Jan. 11 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich., the all-new Ridgeline is slated to launch in the first half of 2016 at Honda dealerships nationwide. The 2017 Ridgeline builds on the unique and still industry-exclusive features that debuted in the award-winning first-generation Ridgeline in 2005. With superior on-road manners and a spacious, flexible interior — the 2017 Ridgeline adds the truck bed audio system to the already industry-first In-Bed Trunk® and Dual-Action Tailgate. Ridgeline will join Honda’s expanded lineup of innovative light-truck models, including the HR-V crossover, the CR-V and Pilot SUVs and the Odyssey minivan. Honda earned a new all-time record for U.S. light-truck sales in 2015, with sales up 11.7 percent to 661,188 units as Honda also set a new overall record with sales of 1.4 million cars and trucks.
The Ridgeline is developed by Honda’s North American design and engineering teams in Ohio and California, and will be produced exclusively at its Lincoln, Alabama, auto and engine plant, alongside the Pilot and Odyssey using domestic and globally sourced parts.
The original Ridgeline was named 2006 Motor Trend Truck of the Year and 2006 North American Truck of the Year and topped J.D. Power and Associates’ Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study in the midsize pickup segment for three consecutive years.