When thinking of childhood, many of us experience memories about the festive season. The smell, the lights, the carols, and, of course, Santa, are the things that made us feel Christmas as being something magical. Unfortunately, because of some serious illnesses, some children are stuck in the hospital over the holidays. As the festive season is also about being generous and kind to others, car manufacturer Honda decided to surprise these patients who are unable to celebrate Christmas at home by bringing some of the holiday’s magic to where they are.

Over the span of three years, the brand has been striving to create a magical Christmas feeling for the kids at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s). In addition to a donation to CHOC Children’s and Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, the 2018 festive season was accompanied by an ingenious campaign that allowed kids to “escape” from the hospital and engage in fun winter activities. Inspired by the concept of a magical snow globe and using VR technology, agency RPA and production company Psyop developed the “Magic Snow Globe” interactive campaign, allowing the pediatric patients to step inside the glass sphere and be part of a fantastic show.

This week’s #ThrowBrandThursday column is about Honda and its heartwarming efforts to help these little patients experience an unforgettable Christmas spectacle. But, in order to make them fit inside the globe, the team had to “shrink” them first, which they did with the help of a VR helmet. The equipment allowed the kids to be carried inside the globe, where a winter wonderland described before their eyes.

Once there, the little ones played in the snow, conducted an orchestra, watched an incredible firework show, and met and even created new friends. Upon returning to the real world, the children were gifted physical models of the characters they designed in the virtual world, “blurring the lines of what’s fantasy and reality.”

“One of the great things about kids is their incredible imagination. We wanted to use their creativity to bring them a truly magical holiday experience, tailored to each child, and to remind them that nothing should stop the joy of the holidays,” said Susie Rossick, Assistant Vice President, Honda Automotive Marketing.

The campaign is the third one in which the brand used VR or AR to bring the Christmas spirit to kids at CHOC Children’s. Prior to the “Magical Snow Globe,” the brand released the “Candy Cane Lane” campaign in 2016, in which the company used VR technology to help kids admire a snow-covered neighborhood from the helm of a Honda sleigh.

The campaign brought so much joy to the patients and it also put a smile on other people’s faces: “It’s the rare opportunity in the advertising industry that allows us to create something beautiful, without talking about our product at all, yet still results in people loving the brand even more.”

The next year, in 2017, Honda surprised the patients with the “Ultimate Get Well Card” initiative, in a bid to bring the spirit of the festive season within the hospital. As such, the team created AR holiday cards and personalized them for each patient. The children were then invited to scan the cards and discover the interactive content and the sincere messages coming from people all around the world.


Client: Honda

Agency: RPA

Production Company: Psyop