By Kyleen McNicholas
On Thursday of last week (1/26), a ten second clip was released on YouTube reenacting a scene from the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The clip features Matthew Broderick standing in a white robe opening the curtains in his bedroom, looking into the camera and saying, “How could I handle work on a day like today?” The date 2/5/2012 (Super Bowl Sunday) then flashes across the screen.The initial release of the clip sparked an overwhelming amount of rumors on the web about the making of a sequel to the film. However, the rumors may have been put to standstill on Friday when Jalponik (an automotive blog) reported Broderick’s character (Bueller) would not be taking another day off but would instead be featured in a spot airing in the Super Bowl for American Honda Motors’ new updated mini SUV, the 2013 CR-V.
Ad Age writer Stephen Williams reports, “According to Jalopnik, the spot, which was the work of Todd Phillips, who made ‘The Hangover,’ would use the 1986 comedy as a theme, updated to 2012 sensibilities. The auto-enthusiast site reports that during the iconic scene of the two valets jumping a hill, the red Ferrari will be replaced with a CR-V.”
The spot brings an interesting issue to question: should companies dip into the treacherous waters of using and playing with pop culture staples for the purpose of a campaign? In the past, history has shown that reactions tend to be negative, and a majority of the reactions to this Super Bowl ad teaser have agreed. According to Ad Age, viewers of the clip have expressed their displeasure with the teaser and Honda in comments on YouTube such as, “If this is a commercial for honda, im keying every honda car i see in the street” [sic].
Despite what intentions for the spot might have been, the negative reactions from viewers might end up doing Honda (or whoever is responsible) more harm than good. While hope remains that the spot and company will be able to redeem themselves, we will have to wait until Super Bowl Sunday to see what fate awaits Ferris, Cameron and Sloane.