TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 2, 2014 — Elevating Honda's safety leadership, actor Bruce Willis delivered a heartfelt message to the more than 100 million Super Bowl viewers today during the third quarter, humanizing Honda's commitment to engineering safer vehicles with a cameo from "Saturday Night Live" alum and star of "Portlandia" Fred Armisen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQi9cBFm4pE
Created to prompt people to consider those they care about, Willis asks viewers to take a moment and hug those around them — "the people that matter to you, matter to us" — to emphasize Honda's commitment to safety. Several social media efforts will continue the hug theme with the hash tag #hugfest.
"Our simple, yet engaging, big-game spot is intended to highlight not only Honda's deep concern for the safety of our customers, but the actual industry-leading crash test results that back up our commitment," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of auto operations at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We know that safety is high on a new-car shopper's purchase consideration list. Honda leads the industry in crash test performance and the Super Bowl represents a great opportunity to move the needle on consumer awareness of that fact."
Based on 2014 IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK ratings http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/TSP-List by brand for vehicles assembled in the United States, Honda has four IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ rated vehicles and one TOP SAFETY PICK rated vehicle, more than any other brand. Overall, American Honda has a total of eight models — the most of any automaker — which have received a TOP SAFETY PICK+ or TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the IIHS. Safety is deeply rooted in Honda's heritage. In the 1980s, Honda was the first company to develop a front passenger airbag with a unique design mounted to the top of the dashboard to reduce the threat of injury to occupants. In 2000, Honda opened the world's first indoor multi-directional crash-test safety facility to provide Honda with a deeper understanding of what happens in real-world collisions and serve as the basis for new technologies that advance safety.
Throughout the game, Honda is posting real-time video reactions from Willis about events such as penalties, fumbles and referee calls on the brand's @Honda Twitter feed. Because viewers of the game may not be near the people who matter the most to them, immediately after the spot airs, viewers will be encouraged to send to those they love a virtual hug (a shot of Willis hugging the camera), by sharing Honda's YouTube video. In addition, Honda will promote the video across Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.
On Mon., Feb. 3, Honda will collect hugs on Twitter by asking people to send a picture or Vine of their hug with the hash tag #hugfest. Willis will then respond with a meme appraisal of the hug. Honda will leverage the company's other social platforms to announce this rate-my-hug effort.
The 60-second "Hugfest" will be featured prominently on www.honda.com and automobiles.honda.com and will direct people to automobiles.honda.com/safety where select Honda's safety features are highlighted.
An ESPN and MSN homepage takeover on Mon., Feb. 3, will feature a separate 30-second spot, "Hugs," where Willis shows how to hug by demonstrating with a baby, puppy and his stunt double, played by Armisen. YouTube First Watch placements are also planned.
Both the TV and digital spots are designed to capture the passion of Honda's safety engineers who work tirelessly to develop and implement cutting edge safety technologies in Honda vehicles to protect Honda customers and, ultimately, everyone on the road. Harnessing this sentiment, Willis takes a moment to speak directly to the viewer and invite them to pause and think of everyone who matters most.
"It's poignant, because Bruce's message and delivery are unexpected," said Accavitti. "No one expects the tough guy to be the one to remind us of the important people in our lives and how much their safety matters to us."
2014 American Honda TOP SAFETY PICK+ Vehicles:Honda Honda Accord Coupe Honda Accord Sedan Honda Civic Sedan Honda OdysseyAcura Acura RLX Acura MDX 2014 American Honda TOP SAFETY PICK Vehicles:Honda Honda Civic CoupeAcura Acura TL
Honda Safety Leadership Honda has a long history of leadership in the development and application of advanced technologies and designs to enhance the safety of all road users, including automobile occupants, motorcycle riders, and pedestrians. The company operates two of the world's most sophisticated crash test facilities and is responsible for numerous pioneering efforts in the areas of crashworthiness, airbag technology, collision compatibility and pedestrian safety. American Honda leads the industry in third party crash test ratings with more vehicles rated TOP SAFETY PICK and TOP SAFETY PICK+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) than any other manufacturer.
About Honda Honda offers a complete lineup of cars and trucks through a network of more than 1,000 dealerships in the United States. Honda has more than 30 years of experience producing automobiles in the region, which began with the Accord in Marysville, Ohio, in November 1982. Having produced more than 25 million vehicles in North America through 2012 using domestic and globally sourced parts, Honda currently operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda automobiles, all-terrain vehicles, power equipment products, engines and transmissions.
1 Claim based on IIHS Top Safety Pick ratings in 2013 by brand for vehicles assembled in the United States