Honda Super Bowl Ad Stars Actor Bruce Willis

Actor Bruce Willis delivered a heartfelt message to over 100 million Super Bowl viewers Sunday during the third quarter, humanizing Honda’s promise to engineering safer vehicles with a cameo from “Saturday Night Live” alum and star of “Portlandia” Fred Armisen.

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.

“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,” said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of auto operations at American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Throughout the game, Honda posted 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 were 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 promotes the video across Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

Today, 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.

Actor Bruce Willis
Actor Bruce Willis

The 60-second “Hugfest” will be featured 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.

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Rakesh Raman