There's nothing more that needs to be said. Honda's latest ad for the Civic uses actual scenes from protests outside the courthouse where the city of Detroit's bankruptcy proceedings are being held to sell Civics.
Why are people protesting outside the courthouse? Because pensions — livelihoods for thousands of city retirees — at the time, were at stake if the bankruptcy were approved. Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr proposed a plan where retirees would be paid cents on the dollar in order to relieve the city of billions in dollars of obligations.
Retirees, not just living in Detroit but everywhere they decided to settle, would basically be eating cat food for dinner if that happened. Honda sums all this up with some fake folksy blues singer saying "the world is pretty sad" before segueing into a guy stroking his beard driving a Civic. Driving a $16,000 Civic that was hastily redesigned because people didn't like the cheap shit Honda threw in there for the 2012 model — we didn't forget! — outweighs everything the people are going through right now is the message here. Fuck whatever creative team came up with this, and fuck Honda for greenlighting this.
Fortunately for the retirees stake there is a plan in place from Michigan's governor to keep some pensions intact, but it still doesn't excuse the bad taste here. That Honda would use imagery from Detroit's bankruptcy, which obviously spans beyond the future of pensioners and includes the future of the city's art, the cuts to city service, the quality of life for 700,000 people that live here — some of whom actually drive fucking Civics! (like me, for example) — is hands down the most boneheaded move from an automaker this year. No contest.
There's no need to get into the history of Asian automakers' rocky relationship with the people of Detroit because that's a story that's been told a million times. You'd think Honda would've kept that in mind, but obviously not. We'll take that press-release apology anytime.
UPDATE: They've removed the actual clip of people protesting but still clearly show the words "BANKRUPTCY COURT." Also, it's still cloying terrible crap.