Thursday, September 24, 2009

Honda "Balloon"

See the commercial here.

Synopsis: While taking a somber ride through scenic Burbank in their soul-crushing Honda Pilot douchemobile, a bald, sweater-vested man and his brooding grandson are stopped by a group of geriatric nudists in a crashed hot air balloon which is not actually blocking their path, and, bravely ignoring the repulsive sight of God's wrinkled creation, give the unclothed aviators a lift back to Orange County, driving in reverse.

Charlie's announcement that he's gay pretty much ruined fishing trip

An all-too-common sight on America's open roadways

"Lucky for you, I left my gun at one of those town halls."

Message: Sure, it's an ostentatious behemoth, but there are many practical, everyday uses for the Pilot's eight-passenger transport capacity and non-stick neoprene seat covers.

Looks great on watered-down alkali flats of New Mexico

Subliminal Message: You'd never be able to fit a bunch of paunchy naked strangers into your Prius.

"Christ -- that guy's got more folds than an accordion."

They'll be seeing C. Everett Koop in their nightmares

Memorable Moment: Grandpa seems stymied by the balloon basket sitting in the middle of the road, apparently reluctant to drive his rugged, versatile SUV a few feet along the perfectly flat ground on the shoulder, to the left of the temporary fence erected by underpaid commercial production assistants. Shortly after, as the Pilot backs away with its crew, the balloon itself mysteriously vanishes, perhaps as a metaphor for the elusiveness of human dignity and sensible, non-embarrassing cars.

There's no way around it -- they'll have to turn back

The real balloon is inside each and every one of us

Disturbing Aspect: It's unclear how long the balloonists spent crouched inside the basket before help arrived, or what exactly they were doing while they waited, but the male-to-female ratio is 4:2, and some of them look happier about it than others.

What happens in the basket stays in the basket -- sometimes, literally

Burning Questions: Are nudists not allowed to carry cell phones, or is it just that they have no place to put them? Couldn't these people have at least slid the basket to the side of the road before they drove away? If the highway patrol pulls the Pilot over, will Grandpa be arrested for corrupting a minor?

No amount of Lysol will eradicate the psychological damage

Overall Loathsomeness: 6.0

Mitigating Factor: It took Honda's determined ad team of former cartoonists and failed screenwriters all night and a dozen pots of coffee, but they finally came up with a scenario in which the Pilot's ballyhooed rearview camera might come in handy.


  1. The part I hate is when the SUV driver offers the ride, and one of the guys in the basket says "there's just one thing- we're nudists." The tone of the guy's voice says to me " while we are more than willing to pile into your car, don't think for one minute that we intend to compromise our principles by covering up."

    At which point, I wish the SUV driver had replied "well, fuck you then, get a ride with the next guy who comes along in a car that seats eight."

  2. You missed a great opportunity here--you could have worked FEBREZE into your last photo caption! :p

  3. This sort of ad campaign comes from the same sick place in the ad men's minds as the Cialis "People in bathtubs" mind-scarrer; in both cases, we are forced to confront naked jackasses flaunting their douchebaggery in a manner that would require their being arrested in real life so someone can sell products that the public at large doesn't really need.

  4. It strikes me that the morons in that balloon are getting exactly what they deserve- and if they are so damned proud of being nudists, why don't they just hit the road and walk back to town? Why are they hiding in that basket?

    I really don't see how having enough room is a bigger issue than the fact that you will never, ever want to sit in the back seats of that car again after doing this favor.

  5. Even if they were incongruously embarrassed, since the balloon basket is above waist level, one wonders why the men inside the basket were crouching down, completely out of sight, before the Pilot arrived.

  6. You know, REAL nudists on adventures wear fanny packs. Just ask those birdwatchers I saw in St. Maarten - got to keep the keys somewhere.

  7. I still don't understand why they had no cell phones since the marsupial-like C. Everett Koop fellow could have stashed one inside one of his many folds...

    1. Perhaps that violates the Nudist's Code. Or God's Law.


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