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Honda’s Advertising Artistry

Many of Honda’s most notable advertising communication successes star the innovative crafting talents of illustrators, animators, model makers, installation designers, motion graphics and special effects directors.

Their featured artistry in effective visual storytelling can be seen in many of Honda’s brand and corporate advertising commercials.

1. Honda, Dream Maker

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, London, UK

‘Dream Maker’ is a collage of film footage and ‘behind-the-scenes’ clips that reveal some of Honda’s filmmaking sponsorships for TV Movie Channels.

On ‘The Drum’ website, Carlos Alija and Laura Sampedro, creative directors at Wieden+Kennedy London, explained the rationale behind the commercial’s creative tribute.

“The best Honda ads often overcome some kind of challenge in the craft and the storytelling that reflects the ingenuity of the brand. There’s crazy technology involved in making a film or a Honda nowadays, but it’s ultimately the warmth of the human touch that makes them achieve excellence”.

2. Honda Racing, Powered by Honda F1

Advertising Agency: Digitas, London, UK

Motion Design and Special Effects Studio, Mainframe, London, UK

Animated by 3D Artists Jonathan May, Diogo Garmatter and Richard Payne, the commercial features Honda-powered lawn mowers, road, marine and aeronautical engineered products racing against each other.

The integrated TV and online campaign highlights Honda’s leading role in Formula One Racing and championship successes and their partnership with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

3. Honda Diesel Engines, Grrr                            

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, London, UK

Directed by Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes at Nexus Productions, the commercial that launched Honda’s CTDi Diesel engines in the UK, saw their overall sales results increase by 35%. For Honda this was a dream result in a highly competitive automotive market.

With a soundtrack by Garrison Keillor singing ‘Hate Something Change Something’ providing the narrative theme, the ‘Grrr’ commercial was the most-awarded campaign of 2005 and won a Cannes International Festival of Creativity Film Grand Prix.

ADWEEK Magazine lauded the commercial as ‘the overall ad of the decade’ in 2009.

4. Honda HR-V, Stepping

Advertising Agency: Mcgarrybowen, London, UK

Directed by Kim Gehrig and filmed at London’s Wembly Arena, ‘Stepping’ pays homage to the Japanese art of precision choreography and synchronised marching.

The commercial is a demonstrably effective analogy of Honda’s focused, ‘team-stepping’ pursuit of engineering perfection.

To the sound of jungle musician and composer M-Beat’s 90’s hit ‘Incredible’ featuring General Levy, six weeks of preparatory rehearsals were required before perfecting the highly watchable feats of massed human discipline.

5. Honda, Paper

Advertising Agency: RPA (Rubin Postaer and Associates), Los Angeles, USA

Honda ‘Paper’, directed by Adam Pesapane, the Oscar and Emmy-nominated American Director and stop-motion animator, known as PES, took months to make.

It involved three thousand hand-drawn illustrations by various artists to illustrate the Honda Corporation’s evolutionary progression of producing power products and its famed motorcycles that started with founder Soichiro Honda’s inventive use of a radio generator to power his wife’s bicycle.

6. Honda, Hands

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, London, UK

Directors Smith and Foulkes pay tribute to Hasbro’s Transformer toy line in this commercial celebrating the Honda Company’s 65 years of brand innovation thanks to the inventive curiosity of its engineers and industrial designers.

The commercial which is informative, amusing and engaging to watch, motivated over 6 million views on YouTube and won a One Show Advertising Awards Gold Pencil for Video Direction, another Gold Pencil in the Consumer Television category and a Silver for Cinema Advertising.

7. Honda Accord, The Cog

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, London

Directed by Antoine Bardou-Jacquet, the commercial is regarded as one of the most groundbreaking and influential of recent years.

The Rube Goldberg inspired installation took 606 takes before the perfect chain reaction outcome was finally achieved in one continuous take and without the use of post-production computer manipulation.

The ‘Cog’ film motivated 55,000 visits a week to Honda’s website and is attributed to an increase of sales totaling 400 million pounds Sterling.

It also received more awards internationally than any commercial in the history of automotive Advertising Communication.