Honda drops April Fools' Day app for people glued to their phone

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Mobile Marketer


Honda is promoting the safety features of its cars with a cheeky April Fools' Day promotion that features a fictional app, according to news shared with Mobile Marketer.

The app helps pedestrians avoid stepping into the street, colliding with nearby threats and also in evading awkward social interactions with selected people in their address book by rerouting them when an undesirable person is nearby. The joke app is highlighted in a video that showcases the app's fictional safety features and will be shared across Honda's social media channels.

The campaign, announced today, aims to raise awareness for Honda's real-life safety features, namely the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistive tech that's available in several of the car maker's 2018 models. The mock commercial was created by RPA, Honda's creative agency. The team has produced entertaining campaign pranks for Honda around April Fools' Day since 2012.


Honda has made a tradition of releasing April Fools videos that highlight its latest innovations and comedic creativity. This year's push that shows off a miraculous sensing app to help smartphone-addicted people avoid collisions with their surroundings and other pedestrians is a lighthearted way to poke fun at consumers who are absorbed in their mobile screens while still promoting real safety features for Honda's fleet of vehicles. While its stunt leans on humor, Honda joins a growing number of brands that are more frequently calling out the perils of addiction to smartphones and social media in their advertising.

Last year, Honda released an April Fools' video that showcased fake horn emojis that were capable of conveying a wide range of emotions through a car's horn. In 2014, the car maker's annual video showcased the ability to customize its vehicles by showing a millennial couple whose artisanal spirit compels them to handcraft their own Honda with thousands of delivered parts.

Honda isn't alone in running mobile-focused joke campaigns around April Fools' Day, as some of which gain notoriety by being shared on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Last year, KFC showed off a smart bucket of chicken that was wired with Amazon's digital assistant Alexa. T-Mobile offered its connected wearable onesie, and Lexus showcased the "Lane Valet" that let drivers control other cars with autonomous driving and vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology.

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