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The first quarter of 2011 saw Honda seeking an innovative advertising injection of new life into flagging Civic sales. With this as their goal they launched the "To Each Their Own" Campaign, portraying various new models of the Civic as the automobiles of choice of five unusual characters. As with some other event ad campaigns, each 30-second installment in this campaign (links to YouTube in each ad description) utilizes music by a little-known band, operating as something of a tie-in for the musician to be able to promote their work to a mass audience.

Introductory ad:

The introductory ad of the campaign, titled "To Each Their Own" is described by Honda thusly: "Five very different characters get ready to leave for work in the morning, each in a different Civic model." The five as introduced are, to be particular, a masked wrestler in an off-white suit eating cereal, from a bowl, with a spoon, while standing in the middle of a lavish living room; a "monster" (which looks more or less like an extremely large and hair-covered troll doll) putting in contact lenses; a zombie tying his necktie -- one of his fingers pops off, and he uncoordinately scoops it off the floor; a vest-and-flannel-clad woodsman with a burly beard and a fox for a pet telling the fox "see you later"; a teenage-girl ninja (all in black except for a red mask, gloves, and belt) backflipping across a rainbow-carpeted living room to grab her cellphone; the next set of scenes are the five characters driving around, each in a different make of Civic. None of which is particularly remarkable, except to note that ninja girl somersaults into hers from a second floor balcony. The narrated tagline? "We're all different. That's why there are five new Civics." Song in the ad (according to Honda): "Introducing" by Snake & Jet's Amazing Bullit Band.

Zombie ad:

"It's good to be a Zombie" -- the ad wherein, explains Honda, "Mitch the zombie takes his friends out to have some fun in his Civic Sedan." Mitch's zombie characteristics are limited to the fact that he lumbers about and it looks like his flesh is rotting, and pieces of him fall off with ease (as when he is out to a golfing practice range with his non-zombie buddies, and his arms fly off with the swing). Sadly, Mitch seems to have no compulsion to dine on human flesh and brains, and so is boring as zombies go. At one point in the ad it appears he has gone clubbing with his buds, and is flirting with some lovely ladies at the other end of the bar, who appear to positively reciprocate his attentions. I would think they should be concerned with the possibility that vital parts might break off of him.... The song is "One Week of Danger" by The Virgins.

Woodsman ad:

"Date with a Woodsman" -- according to Honda, "Jack the woodsman goes on a date with a lovely lady in his Civic Hybrid. His animal friends enjoy the ride too." The Woodsman is an animal lover, so naturally he's driving the hybrid. He takes his date to a general store where she buys a very woodsmanlike pair of hiking boots and a flannel knit cap. They are shown driving to a "trout fishing river," and the next cut has them driving back with the girl proudly displaying a sizable live trout in a plastic bag. The fox sticks his head out the car window to pant in the breeze, like a dog. I suspect foxes really would do exactly that, similar as they are to dogs genetically. While eating a sandwich, the girl notices a family of birds living in the Woodsman's beard, and instead of freaking out like a normal human being might, she feeds them crumbs. In the final scene, the Woodsman does an absurdly quick job of carving a piece of forest wood into a carving of his lady friend sitting on the hood of his Civic, backgrounded by two fir trees and giant wolf's head looking like something straight off of the "three wolf moon" t-shirt. The song is a folksy/country "All I Want Is You" by Barry Louis Polisar.

Monster ad:

Titled "She's all Monster," Honda's description of this ad is: "A college girl named Teeny hangs out with her best friends after class. She also happens to be a furry monster." This doesn't exactly jibe with the intro ad description of the people in the ad as getting ready to "leave for work," but possibly she is doing work-study or the like. Her friends are not monsters. And, really, I don't see why she has to be a "furry monster" at all as opposed to some nonfictional archetype like, oh I don't know, an actual college girl. And (like the zombie ad, upon reflection) I'm not sure who is supposed to identify with this character. The class she's in at the beginning is clearly a biology class, with the professor having drawn some rather elaborate examples of eukaryotic architecture on the blackboard. Teeny and her two friends, one blond and the other a librarian-hot bespectacled brunette, hop into her car (she has a "Fur Power" bumper sticker which I would normally associate with a very different community) drive around to go clothes shopping at a boutique and get their pictures taken in a photo booth. Teeny is the only one we see trying clothes on, which seems odd because she doesn't seem to really need to wear any. The song is a breezy fem-pop tune with xylophone beats, "We Turn It Up" by Oh Land.

Ninja ad:

Lastly, the name of this ad is "Ninja" -- apparently the creative team had used up all their juice by the time they got around to naming it. Honda sums it up as: "Aiko the ninja makes a smooth getaway in her Civic Si." Aiko appears popping out of an air vent on top of an industrial building in the dark of night and doing a three-story dive over the railing and into her car (a tiny disclaimer appears reading "Do not attempt.") As she drives off, the building behind her blows up and she is pursued by two trucks that look like Optimus Prime in vehicle mode decked out with more Christmas lights than a Coca Cola commercial. She lustily bites on licorice while she drives. She gets far enough ahead of the trucks to stop at an arcade and play an 8-bit version of Shinobi. She rushes out in time to get her car moving as the trucks approach, and jumps a rising drawbridge escape them. Now it doesn't even tell the viewer not to "attempt" but simply has the legend, "Fictionalized." Which is good, because for a second there I thought I was watching a documentary. I find this to edge out the zombie ad to be the most disappointing ad of the bunch, as there's no real ninja-type kung fu or assassination style activity going on. Ninjas are not especially known for evasive driving skills, or playing video games. The song is "Hoodie Ninja" by mc chris, but many, many Internet denizens have pointed out it sounds for all the world like its lyrics are "I'm a ninja, I'm a horny ninja."

Wrestler ad(?):

Doesn't appear to have been one.... yet. I'll update, if and when.

In summary....

With five different "types" set forth in the ads, I guess there is something in some of them which will have sufficient appeal to some people to sell some cars. But, it is quite possible that the longest-lasting effect of this campaign will be to break out some lesser-known musical artists, and to fuel a "horny ninja" meme.

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