A&E Exclusive: Thoughts on Honda Commercial, ‘Nothing Can Represent Our Work but Us’

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Honda recently launched a commercial for its 2018 model Accord. In it, a series of awards come to life: a pair of bronze boxers throw punches at one another, a spelling champion with bumblebee wings completes the word ‘perspicacious,’ and a rock climber muscles his way up to a polished granite platform, with an engraved gold plate that reads ‘Accord.’ The ad ends on the message that “Our quest for better never ends.”

A&E was curious to hear what awards and engraving industry experts had to say about this mainstream portrayal. Stephen Capper of A-1 Awards offered his insights on the matter.

As an industry expert, how does the portrayal of trophies in this commercial resonate with you?

To me, the ad connects an image—Honda—with the accomplishment of success, and any time an international company connects with our products is a good thing.

How might a mainstream portrayal like this impact business? 

It will stimulate those who are having a problem creating an item, like an award, to capsulate a reward for an accomplishment, and this might help drive them to our dealers.

What are some takeaways you have after watching it?     

It shows just how involved our industry of recognition is with almost every facet of life. Our industry touches someone in almost every segment of the scale. Besides food, clothing, and the actual essentials of life, I don't know of anything else that does. 

Perhaps this is why the ego of life is so important, and it is the appeal to that ego that stimulates our businesses. The word ‘trophy’ actually comes from the Greek word trophia, meaning: to feed the ego of man. Everyone has an ego that we must appeal to.

What message do you think is Honda trying to evoke through the use of trophies? 

I believe they are associating success with accomplishment and that is rewarded with captivating the deed with the symbol of the award. The ad shows that everyone can win if they desire, and with a Honda, it is doable and it is their award.

Do you approve of that message, given it represents your work?     

Nothing can represent our work but us, and I don't give anyone permission to invade my creativity of life. My reputation is the one book of life only I and our company can write.

How would you like to see the awards and engraving industry represented on a large-scale level? 

In recent years, the issue of participation awards has been brought up and we are selling more of them than ever before. So, someone else lost the fight, but we are winning! 

I believe that everyone should receive an award. There are different levels of accomplishment, but those that are not Type A personalities still contribute to society and many of these people are our clients. Our firms within the recognition industry need to learn to adapt to the marketplace and take advantage of the opportunities that are present instead of just wanting to promote their own agenda. Life is a banquet and we must learn to like what is served.