Dr Mumbo

Everything wrong with that Honda meteorite ad

For the record, Dr Mumbo is aware that ads aren’t real.

Not least when they come from Honda, whose last memorable effort involved a talking dog called Terry.

And there is also an immutable law that says journalists are never portrayed accurately on screen. And Honda’s new sci-fi spectacular from Leo Burnett Melbourne certainly contributes to that.

Every time that ad airs, Dr Mumbo feels a great disturbance, as if millions hundreds of journos are suddenly crying out.

So allow Dr Mumbo to offer a shot-by-shot assessment of everything that all right-thinking journos should hate about the ad…


CJ dogs honda

Our story begins with our plucky Channel 8 heroine CJ, who’s covering a dog show for a live bulletin from some idyllic rural location.

For the record, animal shows are an honourable part of the junior journo training path, so let no more be said against the concept. It’s not a bad shot, with a bustling backdrop and the reporter draped in a shih tzu for maximum hilarity. How the dogs are levitating into the left and right of the shot doesn’t matter right now.


honda monitorThey’ve even brought a monitor offering a live feed of what’s going on in the studio. Which seems a bit much for a quick, live two-way. Dr Mumbo wonders where the satellite dish is. Clearly this is one well-resourced team.


honda CJ

But what the hell is the camera guy doing? He’s staring at his phone and isn’t even monitoring his shot. He hasn’t noticed that a female hipster is about to wander into the picture.


The studio host, who we’ll later discover is called Glen, offers up a lame pun about the ‘poop scoop’ at the dog show.

Scoop? Gerrit?

CJ Honda eye roll

van-badham-eyeroll-sunrise-latham-468x245CJ’s having none of it. The last time Dr Mumbo came across an eye roll this dramatic is was Van Badham during Mark Latham’s bizarre feminism debate with Andrew O’Keefe.

But it’s not a great look when your network’s camera is pointing at you. It makes it look like you think the whole thing is a little beneath you, CJ.

Is it, CJ? Are you better than that?


honda skyscrapers

Hang on, we’re in a rural idyll. What the hell are all those half built skyscrapers doing?

And if this is a metro bulletin, what the hell are they crossing to a dog show for anyway?

Oh yes, and the fireball streaking across the sky? Lucky CJ looked up.


The size of that fireball can only mean one thing. Millions of people are going to die. An ambitious smile crosses CJ’s face.

CJ smile


She dumps the shih tzu into the hands of the hipster. The hipster has a clipboard so she must be the producer. Dr Mumbo feels for her. Working with CJ must be unbearable.

In the background, the camera guy fails to point his camera at the sky. The hipster producer is juggling the dog and doesn’t notice.shih tzu hipster honda


honda underpass

Instead of filming the fireball and broadcasting it live to Channel 8’s long suffering viewers, they’ve all inexplicably jumped into their Honda Civic. Which is parked underneath a massive overpass, the perfect spot to hold a dog show.


honda reverse

As CJ demonstrates the reversing camera, “You’ve stolen a shih tzu,” complains the hipster producer, who actually had it last.


honda directions

The camera guy tells CJ where to go, but he’s still not filming.


Finally, the sleepyheads back at Channel 8 cut live to the car, which is now on a suspiciously empty freeway, considering the monitor said it was 8.35am.

honda freeway

Weirdly, the fireball, which science tells us to expect to fly past at 257,000kph, has fallen behind the Honda.


honda cj live

“Are we up? asks CJ in a not-very-professional way of beginning the biggest moment of her television career.

Which isn’t entirely her fault, as she’s trying to drive while doing a piece to camera. Doesn’t she know that the Pedestrians Council of Australia is bound to complain to the Ad Standards Board about that?


“It’s heading saarf,” she tells viewers in a piece-to-camera-while-driving at a speed that even Chris Evans would be ashamed of.

It’s hard to tell why the studio is even bothering to cross to the car when they’ve also got a perfectly good live shot of the fireball to show viewers.

honda CJ sarf


Now they’re suddenly in the bush. And they’re still ahead of the 257,000 km/h fireball.

honda fireball bush


honda explosion

The meteorite strikes land dead ahead, with an impact equivalent to a 1 million megaton bomb. In a few seconds, everything within five miles will be completely flattened. Soon the shock wave will devastate most of the eastern side of Australia. In the weeks that follow a cloud of dust will snuff out the sun around the world. The planet will be thrown into a new ice age. Humanity will end.


honda flinch

CJ braces bravely while the cameraman and cowardly hipster flinch. In a fraction of a second they will be evaporated.


They’re doomed. Just look at that mushroom cloud they’re driving towards.

honda mushroom cloud00.27

The deadly blast wave hits. But CJ steers around it while the camera guy whimpers.

honda cj steering


Meteorites rain down around the magic car, which doesn’t even get dusty.

honda meteorites car


They come across a shocked survivor badly in need of help. They ignore his pleas and drive on. CJ is ambitious for a better shot.honda farmer


By the look of all those flattened trees, the landscape has been utterly destroyed.

honda trees

This can only mean one thing. CJ and her team are dead. But they don’t realise.


Their spirits, in their ghost car, approach the giant smoking crater that has ended human life upon earth.

honda crater


Suddenly Ghost CJ has a camera of her own. She films precisely the same scene from precisely the same angle as her cameraman.

honda cameras dog

The ghost hipster producer prepares to throw the dog into the volcano as a sacrifice to the gods to be allowed back into the land of the living.


CJ scrambles into the crater

cj honda crater


Camera still in hand, CJ’s experience in purgatory continues. Now she’s been instantaneously transported into the studio. A stressed looking floor manager – who must also have died in the cataclysm – takes her camera from her.

cj floor manager


The tables have turned. Now CJ is anchoring the show.

CJ anchor


And Glen, on an expensive network talent contract, is at the dog show. Despite the devastation that occurred just up the road, the dog show is still going. Dr Mumbo can’t help but question the news values of the show’s executive producer.

glenn honda dog show


CJ, now wearing an earpiece, looks smug

CJ earpiece

But it’s only because she doesn’t know she’s dead.


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