This commercial has been rumored for a few months, and I happened to catch it over the weekend while watching the NHL playoffs. Honda is the official vehicle of the NHL, but after this gem, it might as well be the official vehicle of this website. It may not have the wow factor of the Honda ‘Gears’ ad, but if this doesn’t make you want to stuff a Ridgeline full of hay and plywood and go skate, I can’t help you, and you’re probably on the wrong website.
Some interesting notes about the commercial, which Honda blandly calls ‘Outdoor Rink’:
-Early reports were that the commercial was also going to feature Minnesota natives Jeff Sorem and Bug Blooston of ‘Pond Hockey’ documentary fame. I’ve watched it a few times, and I can’t seem to see either one (though the guy who hops out of the back seat of the Pilot at 0:07 does have the same leather Mitts that Sorem wears in the movie). Maybe I’m not looking hard enough?
-Funny that Honda is the official vehicle of the National Hockey League, which has roots in Canada going back over a hundred years, and whose Hall of Fame sits in Toronto. Yet who are the three ex-professionals cast in this ad? Pat LaFontaine, Mike Richter, and Neal Broten. All Americans.
-While Broten rocks an old-school Minnesota North Stars sweater, LaFontaine and Richter pull out some old NHL All Star threads. LaFontaine’s is from the ’92-’93 game in Montreal, while Richter is wearing (at least a replica of) the jersey he wore as the All Star Game’s MVP in ’94.
-Joe Baratelli, the Creative Director at Rubin Postaer and Associates, the agency that created the ad, says “We wanted to tell a heart-warming story that captures the true spirit of hockey. This spot is intended to bring attention to Honda’s NHL sponsorship while demonstrating that Honda truly embraces the game of hockey.” Two thumbs up from this blogger.
-This new ad follows up on last year’s Honda/NHL spot, titled ‘5am practices’, which can be seen here.
Considering my affinity for the game and the fact that my immediate family owns three Hondas (including a Ridgeline, the official back-and-forth-to-the-lake vehicle of this year’s NEPHC and a killer hockey truck), I love these ads. It would have been easy for them to grab Ovechkin or Crosby and show them driving a Honda into their gated mansions. But very smart of Honda to go a step further and do the research necessary to see what makes many hockey fans tick.