Since Honda had a strong presence in the early ’90s with the Honda Accord, it should come as no real shock that the automaker decided to channel that decade with this retro joke ad for the “Honda Pastport.”
With the voiceover provided by Fred Savage (who you may remember from his roles in the movie The Princess Bride and the ABC TV show The Wonder Years), the faux Honda commercial came out on April 1, 2019 — April Fools’ Day. Hence, the appropriateness of the gag. Honda’s ad lays out a minimalist, extremely ’90s redesign of the Honda Passport, complete with a coin holder, beeper mount, a “navigation system” (a.k.a. just a map. Remember those?), and air conditioning. Gotta love that ’90s styling!
Along with the high-quality video, Honda also posted an official-looking press release on their automotive news site.
“Spurred by the resurgence of nineties pop culture, Honda is introducing the ’90s-themed Pastport as a new trim available in the all-new Passport lineup,” the release reads. “The exclusive Pastport trim is unlike any SUV available today, showcasing the sleek exterior of the all-new 2019 Honda Passport (https://automobiles.honda.com/passport) with a masterfully simple throwback interior highlighting popular ’90s features, such as automatic windows, plush micro-fiber seats, a cassette player and a mount for a beeper. The Honda Pastport will be available in early April 2019 at Honda dealerships nationwide.”
“From TV reboots to fashion, the ’90s are making a huge comeback, and we saw an opportunity at Honda for consumers who want uniqueness and simplicity, so we decided to reach back and bring the Pastport to market this spring,” said Zack Tanner, historical innovations manager for Honda. “We think the new Pastport is all that and a bag of chips.”
While also including a plug for the very-real 2019 Honda Passport, Honda also encouraged fans to dial 1-833-PASTPORT to listen to a message from Savage himself, who is actually the official voice of Honda.
The release continued, “Callers are encouraged to leave a detailed message on the Company’s microcassette answering machine explaining why they’d like to own a Pastport. The Pastport hotline will be promoted throughout the marketing campaign and is featured during the commercials.”
Shout out to Honda’s marketers for this one!
This post was originally published on April 1, 2019.