Honda’s Epic Car Commercial: A Timeless Masterpiece

All Ad Action Captured In-Camera, But One Hidden Edit
The Story Behind One of the Most Complicated Ads in History | Cogs

Advertising for motor vehicles has evolved drastically through time. Currently, we’re overloaded with ads that are often disregarded; however, a two-decade-old Honda advertisement stands out because of its finesse and merits due attention. A recently released video looks into how the commercial was shaped and a bonus DVD detailing its production was included.

The 2003 Honda Cog advertisement caused quite an impact upon its first broadcast, only airing completely 10 times. It was restricted to screening in the UK, Sweden and Australia. Nevertheless, due to the development of the internet, it is now achievable to watch the video online – but if you were not around in the United Kingdom during 2003, chances are you won’t know that a short documentary on the creation of the commercial was made.

Audiences in Great Britain with Sky’s interactive remote encountered the 30-second clip of the commercial, which they had option of viewing in full. What’s more, they could even ask for a DVD concerning the new seventh-generation Honda Accord that was being promoted. It appears a number exceeding 10,000 people requested the leaflet and DVD.

It took a full seven months to complete the commercial, and out of it, four were used specifically for creation and trial. Minute variations like temperature or wind brought about a number of challenges during the shooting process, along with the chosen filming location. As the advertisement was deemed too protracted to film in one continuous take, a concealed cut was necessary; and all was pieced together in post-production.

No computer graphics were used in any of the other on-screen activities, including the seemingly gravity defying magic wheels. The wheel’s ability to roll up a ramp was credited to the addition of extra load at the top, thus giving it that supernatural impression. Even the walking windshield wipers were completely genuine.

The agency Wieden & Kennedy, which gave us Nike’s catchphrase “Just Do It,” concocted and presented a proposal to Honda to finish the ad, getting one million pounds ($2.6 million in present day currency and exchange rate). When this commercial went live in 2003, Honda’s UK page had its busiest day ever. Can you think of the last car commercial that made you run to purchase DVDs and browse websites?

Honda COG (The Making Of) 2003

Sources: Paul E.T., Parsley, Honda Suisse


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