Hmm. Honda’s latest ad below for their flagship new Hybrid car model, the CR-Z may get a little lost on many people. On the surface it’s a cool, arty spot with an RGB 3-D quality to it reflecting the three ‘moods’ of the car trough film and sound. The ad’s treatment moves from red, to blue to green but until you get to their site, the reason why is lost. Which I guess is half the point. Honda have always had the bravery to embrace forward thinking with their advertising, after all – it reflects their company attitude, but this didn’t feel all that adventurous or brave. To back this up, check out the other ads during W+K’s superb time at the helm.
It’s the only Honda ad (and indeed the first Wieden + Kennedy ad) I’ve ever felt luke warm over, but maybe that’s because I’m used to such stand-out excellence from them both.
On the occasions where Honda have needed to plug a particular such as their latest Diesel engine, they communicate the said benefits. Their last great model ad was the famous 2008 live parachute jump commercial for the Accord, which tied neatly in with their philosophy of ‘Difficult is worth doing’. And then there are the many gloriously celebrated brand-building spots they’ve produced over the years, which have been exemplary .
I don’t know, perhaps we’ve been spoilt by W+K’s Honda spots in the past with slick ideas and adventurous execution, but this all feels a little, well, normal. It’s not a brand commercial, so no throaty voice-over, and it’s not a new engine which needs animation to look sexy. But this feels like a ‘gadget’ has been forced into the idea – rather the gadget has led the advert, and not the idea. That said, it’s the only Honda ad I’ve ever felt luke warm over, but maybe that’s because I’m used to such stand-out excellence from them both.
Thanks to Creative Review for the heads up on this ad.
Agency: Wieden+Kennedy London
Directed by: Frank Budgen.
Creatives/Art Directors: Ian Armstrong, Ellie Tory
Music sung and composed by: Jónsi (Sigur Rós lead singer)