For years, Honda has been irritating TV viewers by continuing to bring back its smug animated shill, Mr. Opportunity. The spots grew so grating that Consumerist readers voted it as the third-worst ad in the country last year. But several of you have noticed Mr. Opportunity’s absence from your TV sets and wanted to know if Honda had finally put the toon out of its misery.
We also noticed that Honda had begun airing spots featuring actor Patrick Warburton for its summer clearance program, which is usually prime Mr. Opportunity annoyance time. So we asked both Honda and RPA, the ad agency behind many of the auto maker’s TV spots, if it was time to celebrate the passing of Mr. O.
Here’s a statement from RPA’s Executive Creative Director Joe Baratelli to Consumerist:
This year brought some unusual circumstances for Honda with the tsunami and earthquake in Japan and its effects on their supply chain. Ordinarily, during the summer months, Honda would advertise their summer clearance which has been Mr. O’s time to shine. Because promotional campaigns had been put on hold indefinitely, RPA created this “Good Reasons” campaign to remind consumers why Honda is the best choice. Honda vehicles became available sooner than anticipated, so while this work was being put together, TV spots with incentive tags were added to the mix. Patrick Warburton is used to give a honest, straight forward voice to the campaign mixed with a bit of self-deprecation toward Mr. O–just for fun. You may see more of Warbuton and perhaps Mr. O will someday come back, but for now this work is meant to keep Honda top of mind.
Honda was similarly noncommittal in declaring Mr. Opportunity dead for good. “It’s hard to say definitively,” a rep for the car maker tells Consumerist, “as we cannot speculate about
what future advertising campaigns may hold.”
Well, at the very least, Mr. Opportunity’s perhaps permanent vacation from Honda ads at least means that the campaign won’t be nominated again this year.