Honda Yearbooks celebrate 20 Years of Dreams

Honda’s 2017 Super Bowl commercial, “Yearbooks”, features cameo appearances by the younger versions of Tina Fey, Amy Adams, Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Carell, Viola Davis, Missy Elliott, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Stan Lee and Robert Redford. Real-life year book photos of the stars are brought to life with their own voiceovers. The Honda Yearbooks commercial was designed to promote the 2017 Honda CR-V and the 20th anniversary of the SUV brand. The release of the Honda Yearbooks ad online coincided with “Throwback Thursday,” the weekly social-media phenomenon that celebrates all things retro.The ad was supported online by homepage takeovers on ESPN, Amazon and Yahoo. The campaign will continue on TV and in out-of-home, radio, print and social media. Honda has arranged for some of the ad’s stars to interact with fans on social media.

Honda Yearbook

Honda Yearbooks Campaign

Honda considered a variety of ad concepts but landed on the yearbook idea because it hit on the theme of “always chase your dream and never give up,” Ms. Rossick said. The first-generation CRV appeared on the Super Bowl in 1997. The 2017 edition is “a culmination of our engineers and our designers dreams,” she added. “It all just fell into place.”

Some dreams are bigger than others, of course. There are dreams of success — and there are dreams of best-in-the-world, top-of-the-game success. For Honda’s engineers, their dream for the completely redesigned CR-V was the latter. The CR-V was already Honda’s best-selling vehicle, but they wanted to make it even better. To stand out in the big game, we wanted to connect with that passion for chasing dreams. It’s easy to forget that with every incredible success story, at one point they were just another person with a dream. What if we could capture the spirit that drove and inspired them back before they were successful? That was the creative spark that led to “Yearbooks.” School yearbooks capture that moment in time when our whole lives are ahead of us. So we recruited an A-list collection of celebrities and imagined their school yearbook-selves offering advice to the audience.

Photographs of the stars were inserted into shots of real yearbooks, collected from various staffers at RPA, Elastic and A52 and Honda. The students’ names were changed to follow alphabetization in the lineups. The final result is a composite of each celebrity’s original school photo, a 3-D scan of the celebrity today, motion capture as they performed their lines, and a stand-in performer re-creating the original photo.


The Honda Yearbooks campaign was developed at RPA, Los Angeles, by executive creative director Jason Sperling.

Filming was shot by director Angus Wall via Elastic with executive producer Jason Sterman, designer Leanne Dare.

Visual effects were produced at A52 by VFX supervisor Urs Furror, CG supervisor Adam Newman, rigging lead Adam Carter, on set supervisor Andrew Wilkoff, colourist Paul Yacono. Editor was Zoe Mougin at Rock Paper Scissors.

3D head scans were produced at SCANable.

Music was by Jeremy Turner.