SoCal Honda's Helpful Bowl Trades Ad Dollars For Donations | The Mary Sue
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This Regional Car Dealership Is Giving Out Lessons In How to Not Waste Millions In Super Bowl Ad Dollars

Every year, millions upon millions of dollars is funneled into Super Bowl ads. Really, given the $5 million per ad price tag, that number is presumably closer to billions. Yup, five million dollars to put Doritos or luxury cars in front of the eyes of sports fans. Is it worth it? Heck if I know. Probably, or these companies wouldn’t keep spending, right?

At least one company has decided to invest in the big game in another way. Southern California residents are probably familiar with SoCal Honda’s “Helpful Honda” campaign, but it’s rare to see an ad campaign make good on its name in this way. Last year, the company gave out a code for free Uber rides following the Super Bowl. That’s incredibly helpful, given that game day is the second deadliest drunk driving day of the year, after New Year’s Eve.

This weekend, they’re putting their Super Bowl ad dollars to good use with their “Helpful Bowl” campaign. Rather than spending their money on airing their own ad, they’re investing in a sort of bingo/scavenger hunt/general good time for viewers, all in the name of Super Bowl commercial clichés.

For every commercial aired during the game that utilizes a tired advertising campaign, the company will dedicate a certain amount of money to the local Boys & Girls Club. So yes, you can watch sports, mock clichés, and help a worthy charity, all at the same time. That sounds like literally something for everyone.

What are some of those clichés? For starters, we’ve got the old standby character tropes: holla if you see a hipster (a $5,000 donation) or a “dumb guy” ($10,000). A futuristic scene earns $5,000, as does a commercial set in the past. If there’s celebrity stunt casting, that only gets $500. (Presumably because there are a lot of those, or perhaps to balance out their exorbitant paychecks.)

For whatever adorable reason (NOT COMPLAINING) a puppy earns those kids $20,000.

What a cool thing to turn ad dollars into actual “helpful” dollars. And hey, we’re not that naive. It’s not like SoCal Honda isn’t benefiting from this benevolence. This is absolutely 100% still advertising. But there’s nothing wrong with that, given that they’re you know, a business and all.

So sure, they get real positive publicity, kids get money, and we get a fun game, because if you play along with their game and submit a scorecard afterwards, they’ll donate even more money.

Again, that sounds like something for absolutely everyone. A company wants to monetize our goodwill and charity? I am absolutely all for that, because at the end of the day, who doesn’t win here?

(via SoCal Honda, image via screengrab)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.