Honda Returns to Super Bowl, Focused on Young Aspirations

AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR is leaping back into the Super Bowl with a commercial for its redesigned CR-V compact crossover, part of an extensive campaign that began this month and is centered on the “leap lists” of ambitious life goals compiled by twenty- and thirtysomethings.

(A leap list, as presented by CR-V at, is like an upbeat bucket list, without the “things to do before you die” intimations of mortality.)

The CR-V commercial will run in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVI, to be broadcast by NBC on Feb. 5. American Honda Motor is among several automakers that will advertise during the game, seeking to reach consumers on what is the biggest day of the year for sports, television and marketing.

The marketers are estimated to be paying an average of $3.5 million for each 30 seconds of commercial time in the game, compared with an average of $3 million for each 30-second spot in Super Bowl XLV on Fox in February 2011.

The CR-V commercial will run a minute, according to executives at American Honda Motor and its creative agency, RPA. Super Bowl spots beyond the typical 30-second length are becoming more popular as sponsors try to draw eyes to their expensive pitches.

The CR-V Super Bowl commercial will be different from five other spots in the “leap list” campaign, Mr. Peyton said. The commercial will be released 10 to 14 days before Super Bowl XLVI, he added, echoing a tactic used by Volkswagen last year for its “Star Wars” spot for the Passat, which was uploaded to YouTube before Super Bowl XLV and has since been watched there more than 48.3 million times.

“Of course it’s a lot of pressure” to produce a Super Bowl commercial, said Jason Sperling, senior vice president and group creative director at RPA in Santa Monica, Calif., because “you can create the best spot in the world, but you’re up against more best spots.”

In addition to the commercials, the campaign includes print advertisements and presence on, social media like Facebook, a contest, a branded integration of the CR-V in an episode of “The Bachelor” on ABC, digital ads and ads in movie theaters.