Sara Whitman

Honda Commercial

Filed By Sara Whitman | April 02, 2009 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: gay families, gay friendly, Honda

I'm sacked out, watching Villanova and Pitt go head to head.

Commercial comes on for a Honda.

Briefly, but certainly, they show two dads and a son. No question, as they have panned from a straight couple with their kid.

Jake says to me, MOM! you gotta blog about that.

Mostly, my heart is warm that he sees the two dads. He sees their son. So many people will miss it.

He saw it all on his own.

So big kudos to Honda for an inclusive commercial. (Video after the jump.)

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Ok, so I'm not crazy.

I have seen the commercial probably a dozen times, but I could never tell.

That was the dynamic that I took it as, and I find it great that Honda has the balls to do it.

Either of you have a link to it? I don't know which one it is. I haven't noticed it or I haven't seen it; now I gotta know which it is! LOL

bil, I only saw it once. I'm looking through the youtube links but haven't found it yet. will send a link when I find it!

found it. ten seconds in... dads are getting out of the car parked in back...

I added it to your post for you, Sara.

I hadn't seen it before! That's definitely two dads and a kid - and they're black. Big kudos to Honda!

I hate to be Johnny Raincloud, but if Honda was asked about the three, they'd probably officially say they were brothers or cousins or something.

But this gives me the warm fuzzies anyway :)

I appreciate that Honda included that, but hey, what is the worst that could happen...the AFA asking Honda to be "neutral in the culture war," and then announcing another of their boycotts? That would set them to trembling I'm sure.

Some day, these wingnuts will have nothing left they can buy.

Keep in mind, of course, that Subaru USA, well known for marketing to lesbians, was also the only major automaker to post a yearly sales increase for 2008. OK, there's not necessarily a direct correlation, but I'd like to think that smart marketing to niche markets always helps. Maybe Honda is trying to catch up.

The tagline in the Honda commercial, "Designed and priced for us all," also makes me think they know there's a clear gay message here. I have to say, though, I'm glad this isn't a "gay commercial," but instead shows an LGBT family (and a black one at that) as part of the regular diversity of our society.

in the long run? My son saw two dads and their son. that was powerful!

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 2, 2009 6:13 PM

Sara, it is 5:00 AM here and maybe I am fuzzy. Could this be more of a projection (on our part)of a generic pair of older brothers/friends taking the "kid" out for an afternoon away from the parents?

It's a rubber raft trip. "Big Brothers" do that.

I did like the way it was done. I "paused-started" my way through the relevant frames and the placement of the guys being one, then two, then three was eye catching.

I had to watch 3 times to see it.

Thanks for posting this!

Ah, not to be a big stick in the mud, but I think all of you are taking a hug leap in assuming those are two dads and their son. It would be nice, but there are WAY too many other possibilities besides two dads. Please, lets not give credit to Honda on something you can't prove. Get a letter from their PR Dept and then I'll believe it. Otherwise, no sale.

Next you'll be saying, "I see dead people."

ah, you miss the point. It doesn't matter what Honda says.

what matters is my son saw, clearly, two dads and their kid. that was powerful.

but it would be interesting to see what their PR department would say. I'm calling tomorrow. stay tuned.

So, this whole discussion was because your son saw two dads? I would think your son has a viewpoint that can cause him to see that. I would even suspect that other children of gay parents may not even see that. Your son is special.

But, I don't see any proof that this was Honda's intention and I'm not willing to jump to that huge of a conclusion. It could be two brothers with the son of one. It could be two neighbors, one with his son. I can create fantasy in my fictional writing, but I refuse to live there. Circumstantial evidence doesn't play in court, and it don't play here. Nice try, though.

I have to agree with you. As nice a thought as this was.. its a huge assumption to say that those are two gay guys with their son. They didn't hold hands, kiss, or display any sort of intimacy towards each other.

Sara has a point: it's really, really easily interpreted as two dads and a kid. And in America, that's a big deal. I don't think I've been to another country where people have more fear of being labeled gay than in the US, and as a result we're pretty mindful about never even giving others the chance to think that. The marketing team and/or director here must have known what message two men and a kid would send.

But there's a more troubling issue at play here, and that's the demonization of wild assumptions. It's easy to poke fun at wild assumptions, but where would we be without them? Monica, would you be living in Atlanta now if someone didn't make the wild assumption that sending prisoners to the US was a sustainable way to deal with criminals? Daniel, would there even be car commercials if someone didn't make the wild assumption that a horseless carriage could transport people?

I know that sometimes wild assumptions might be wrong, but, goddammit, sometimes you have to stand up for what you don't know! What have wild assumptions done for any of you besides sustain the American way of life? They're as much a part of this country as anyone else in this room, and I won't have people maligning wild assumptions! That, ladies and gentlemen, just isn't the America I believe in.

*tear in my eye* I'm sorry. I just love my country — and I fear for it.

You seemed to have forgotten something. Honda is a Japanese company and even though the commercial was made for the American audience with American-looking people, the actual concept for the commercial started in Japan. So, if you are looking for an America to believe in, a Honda commercial shouldn't be where you should be banking all your hopes on.

Now, the Argentina banking commercial with an openly trans person in it had no ambiguities . . . not like this commercial. If the two men hold hands in the next Honda commercial, then I might believe this one. Until then, it belongs in a section of Disneyland.

Philip Madruga | April 9, 2009 5:50 PM

Commercials are expensive and densely plotted, especially in that time slot where you saw it, Sara. When a company pays for national exposure, every second is thought-out carefully and crafted to deliver a precise message. Nothing is "accidental". After looking at the ad for the six or seventh (8th, 9th, 10th) time I noticed three things:

1.) The imagery for the two families is EXACTLY the same: One adult, then a second adult appears from 'within' the first, and then a child becomes part of the family from 'within' the adults. This deliberately says they are both families, to me;

2.) These images are SIMULTANEOUS: each additional person in each family appears at the same time, to me clearly implying a parallel or identity of the situations. Once again, equal relationship is implied;

3.) Nobody has mentioned the MUSIC: As important as the imagery in a commercial is the audio content. When the imputed families are shown, the words to the song are, "...I'm feeling part of everything...' Arguably, I may be strectching this part, but I take the implication that these people are also "part of" each other. The lyrics for the rest of the ad fit the actions onscreen precisely, so I believe that that image during those lyrics is also significant.

Hooray for your son, Sara! He makes me hopeful for our future.