Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The New Honda Ad



Only one possible blog topic - the new Honda ad, which broke yesterday.

And only one question to ask - is it as good as Cog, Grrr, and Impossible Dream?

In short - no, it isn't.

Having said that, it is a very, very good ad.

It's brilliantly directed (by promo king Mark Romanek), with a really unique look, great atmosphere, and a couple of awesome shots - I absolutely love the scientist vaulting the barrel, which I take to be a sly reference to Donkey Kong.

However, when all is said and done, we've seen engineers in ads before. And the notion that "having ideas is hard" is not a new one (especially to us creatives, right guys 'n gals?); it's certainly not as original as "hate something, change something".

I hope I'm not being too critical here, but you know what? It's Wieden & Kennedy's own fault, for setting the bar so high with their previous ads...

17 comments:

Jay said...

I think it's arrogant from a brand to expect consumers will make an effort to understand the ad or will visit a website to 'decode it'.

I agree it's beautifully directed but it's just a nice packaging.

Security Dog said...

Come on..this is a blatant 'Close Encounters' rip-off. And that website is a massive disappointment.

Anonymous said...

Is all that wind coming from Tony Davidson? Only joking T. Love ya;-)

Cleaver said...

I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of the ad, but I disagree with Jay that it's "arrogant".

In fact, i think that providing consumers with something to chew over, something that respects their intelligence enough to say "you work it out", is the very opposite of arrogance.

writer said...

Too critical? You gotta be kidding. It's like tired eighties sci-fi meets the Greensburg tornado.

And as for the barrel, don't start analysing references like some dozy academic discussing a post-modern novel.

It's an ad for Chrissakes, not arthouse cinema. Ads don't have injokes, and if they do, they shouldn't.

Jay said...

I totally agree, Cleaver. And It's brilliant when a brand makes you 'work it out' (e.g. The Economist).

But there's not much to 'chew over' here, is it? They are just expecting me to be interested in it and go to the website just because it's honda. For me that's arrogant.

Of course, it could actually be me being just er, arrogant. Sorry about that.

Jay said...

"And as for the barrel, don't start analysing references like some dozy academic discussing a post-modern novel"

That has to be the first time Donkey Kong and post-modern literature are mentioned in the same topic. Lovely.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's another metaphor commercial. Not to say that's bad, there have been good metaphor ads - the one with the rodeo rider on the bull for example for Audi was great. But unfortunately this all gets a bit cheesy because of the quasi philisophical tone Honda takes with the VO. When you have those sort of voice overs the execution had better be spot on - and this isn't. I mean come on - what's that walking to the light business in the end? This is not a good ad - and an inside nod to Donkey Kong just isn't enough to save it.

Rich said...

It's just not as engaging as 'Grrr' or 'Cog'. It looks like Radiohead's video for 'Karma Police', so visually it's not distinctive. I think 'arrogant' may be a bit harsh, though. And it's nowhere near as smug as 'Choir'.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that we are the only people really interested in ads. If my dad saw that ad he would not want to buy a Honda. 'Grrr' and 'Cog' had a better point. This is just pretentious.

Anonymous said...

sorry this is shit. no two ways about it. if it were a film it'd be spiderman 3.

FishNChimps said...

It's better than Choir, and I like rich's observation about Radiohead. This ad does seem a bit too clever by half, and I think that ads which do that distract us from the brand.
In this case, the distraction is "This reminds me of...."
And my tuppeny-ha'penny worth contribution is that there's a touch of the Chris Cunningham/Aphex Twin in this, somewhere.
It might even frighten small children.

Seb said...

compared to "Grrr", "Cog" and "Choir" it may not be that strong. maybe because the brief behind was smarter as well. this time it feels a bit like showing off. anyway it's well done.
and if we stop to compare it with recent Honda ads is a commercial that will definitely get your attention. it looks good, feels good and is still way better than 98% of the other ads on TV.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry. this is just a load of pretentious wank. and it's a lousy use of the medium. nothing happens in the spot. if it wasn't done by W+K, you wouldn't even be discussing it. it's not exciting.

Anonymous said...

I've watched this ad several times over the past few days now and it's gone from being ok to beautiful but annoying pretentious twaddle in my book. I would have had the voice over at the end too

sidekick said...

is that guy doing his vinegar strokes face?

Anonymous said...

Anyone know who the soundtrack is by?