By on June 16, 2017

2017 Honda Keep The Peace Odyssey Commercial screenshot - Image: Honda YouTubeThey’re monsters, fighting over a squeezable toy bus before the journey has even begun. They’re inattentive rascals, wearing headphones and tuning out their parents before Mom is even in the van. They’re instigators and agitators, wholly dependent upon parents to keep the peace.

Or are they? Are children really so bad that Honda’s very first marketing campaign for the fifth-generation 2018 Odyssey has to present a negative slant on the life of a parent?

Maybe not. But in an age in which conflict is fostered during live news coverage all day long, in which children are perpetually entertained so they don’t need to entertain themselves, in which there’s not enough time before Zoey’s pottery class and Aiden’s play date to source a conventional resolution, Honda’s Magic Slide seats produce a brilliantly eye-catching commercial, with a little help from animation.

Of course, my kids would never tussle like this.

Honda’s creative Keep The Peace ad, starring a pair of bellicose monsters during the first two-thirds of the spot, displays the wonders of Honda’s class-exclusive Magic Slide seats.

Not disclosed in the Keep The Peace commercial is the location of the second-row’s middle seat, the seat that makes the Odyssey an eight-passenger van.

While the Chrysler Pacifica can stow both the third and second rows of seats beneath the floor, the Honda Odyssey (like the Toyota Sienna and Kia Sedona) requires complete removal of the second row perches. For the 2018 Odyssey’s ingenious Magic Slide seats to make full use of their range, the Odyssey’s eighth-seat has to consume space in your cargo area, your garage, or your basement.

Nevertheless, one quick pull separates kids who couldn’t resolve their issues, whose father apparently decided conflict resolution wasn’t on his docket this day, but whose smug look at the 0:43 mark tells you this is the best automotive purchase he’s ever made.

The wonders of Honda’s Magic Slide seats will also be revealed when the time comes for third-row access. But advertising simpler third-row access would only serve to remind parents that they had too many kids.

No, better to tell parents of two children that all of life’s problems are about to fade away. At its core, the message is simple: kids are awful, but Honda’s got you covered. 

Ah, it’s not so bad. Honda doesn’t hate kids. In fact, Honda has another clip of kids being cute.

But which one does a better job of selling you an Odyssey?

[Image capture: Honda/YouTube]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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13 Comments on “New 2018 Honda Odyssey Commercial: Your Kids Are Awful, We Have A Solution...”

  • avatar

    None of these new gimmicky features will solve the minivan image problem that causes soccer moms to choose three-row crossovers and inefficient BOF SUVs instead.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    We transported our 5 kids:

    1. Without the aid of entertainment systems. Look at the beautiful countryside, or the urban wonders outside. What a shame to drive for hours and only see a video screen the whole time.

    2. By letting them work out their own problems if possible.

    3. With parental intervention, including mild corporal punishment when they really, really went nuts on each other.

    They all turned out OK, and I didn’t spend today’s equivalent of $50k on a maxed-out minivan to help solve the problems.

    • 0 avatar

      “Look at the beautiful countryside, or the urban wonders outside.”

      Ellen Griswold: This is so dangerous, Clark. We have no business being in this neighborhood.
      Clark: Oh I don’t know, hun. It gives us a chance to see a part of America we don’t get to see.
      Ellen Griswold: That’s a GOOD thing!
      Clark: Not it’s not. We can’t just ignore the plight of the inner cities. See the plight kids?
      [gun shots and a scream are heard]
      Clark: Roll em’ up!

  • avatar

    1974 Chevy Caprice Estate. Mom and Dad up front, Two smaller siblings laid out in the way-back, with the “big half” of the 2nd row folded flat with cushions pulled from the sofa and teenage me in the 1/3 seat left upright. Many Thousands of miles racked up with BOOKS (Remember those?) and early hand held electronic football/baseball games that made infernal beeping noises while in use. A sound we can all recall from hour upon hour of it in that car. Non-stop (well, potty stops) Minneapolis to Johnstown in 16 hours with that damned 55 mph speed limit.

    No TV and AM News Radio the whole way, because dad didnt do music in the car.

    Now, my daughter cant ride in the car from home to wal-mart without the radio attached to her fone to listen to some sort of noise.

    I am past the age of caring about what people think of my vehicles and actually loved our ’12 Caravan, but it got totalled for us while parked and now, the Mazda5 works ok. A new Ody? Way too large on the digits after the dollar sign.

    How did we ever survive?

    • 0 avatar

      I had one of those Mattel Electronics football games too, which we used till the buttons were out. What were they thinking NOT putting a mute switch on that thing?

      My childhood trips, some between countries, were in the back of a ’66 Dodge full-size wagon without air conditioning and only two rows of seats for five people. Mattresses covering the “way back” so we could sleep through part of the trip (child seats? What are those?). No music, no FM radio, no cup holders. Obviously no collisions since I’m still here under those conditions.

      The one exception was when we rented a Winnebago for a drip to Florida when I was 8. Weird thing was, it seemed *small* and cramped in there. Instead of feeling like a huge car, it felt like a tiny house, especially since its presence meant never stopping at restaurants or hotels.

    • 0 avatar

      You had family in Johnstown? Granted, that was in the days before the flood which put the town permanently in a coma, but I still couldn’t see why anyone would want to go there. I may have been born and raised there, but at that time I was happily living in Erie.

  • avatar

    Yikes. Ads like this make me happy that I don’t have to deal with kid-related things.

    I’m always astonished how big of a deal fitting/transporting children is and how much it impacts car choices, but when people with kids explain it I can see how that all makes sense.

    For example, obviously it’s easier to change a diaper in the rain on the waist-height flat floor of an SUV or van with the liftgate keeping the water off than to struggle with the same task in the backseat of a sedan. But until my kid-having sister explained that to me it never registered.

  • avatar

    We’ll be buying our first minivan later this year, when the next baby’s arrival forces us out of our sedan. It’ll likely be the Odyssey. The only serious question left around our kitchen table is which trim level. Regarding the top-trim Elite, I hate hate hate the idea of in-cabin entertainment. But I love love love ventilated seats and the Elite is the only way to get them.

    If I can get over not having ventilated seats in July in the South, then we’ll probably go for an EX or EX-L. Cabin PA system so the kids in the way-back will hear me? Please. I’m a daddy; I can raise my voice to reach all the way back there. And as far as my kids are concerned, the wrath of God rides on my very breath.

    The one thing Honda eliminated from the ’18 Odyssey was the last gen’s ability to remove the front center console. We had hoped to take out both the console and the middle-middle seat, creating an aisle that would allow Mom to walk back and distribute justice as necessary. Alas!

  • avatar

    The only redeeming quality I saw in either of the commercials was the vacuum. $120 will buy a sweet vacuum for any car.

  • avatar

    An interesting sidenote to all this from a marketing perspective has been watching the “sponsorship” messages on Disney Junior.

    Chrysler has been running spots for the Pacifica for almost a year now and Honda has been tripping over itself trying to pick up the slack, to the point of running a voice-over on top of a static picture of the new Odyssey until they had an actual spot ready.

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