Coverage from The Sun (left).
‘The N was a little shaky and the D partially obstructed by cloud but
a team of skydivers successfully made advertising history last night
when they spelled out the word H-o-n-d-a live on air.
first live advert, filmed during the first break of the reality show
Come Dine with Me, passed without a hitch. At 8.10pm, the skydivers –
including European champion Phil Curtis, four world champions and nine
national skydiving champions – were given the green light to clamber on
to the outside of the aeroplane and, following a signal from the team
leader, threw themselves into the air.
As they plummeted to Earth
from 12,000 metres (40,000ft), they undoubtedly had the car
manufacturer’s advertising strapline ‘Difficult is worth doing’ ringing
in their ears. Within seconds they had formed the initial H, and O soon
followed. There was a hairy moment when the first N looked as if it was
drifting apart, and as a passable D took shape the group were
momentarily engulfed by grey cloud, but the finale of a beautifully
symmetric A was faultless.
With their mission accomplished the
team released their parachutes and floated to the ground amid much
whooping. One skydiver opened his palms to the camera, revealing the
time-honoured message: “Hello mum”.’
So said the Guardian of last night’s live Honda ad.
In life you have to take leaps of faith if you are going to get somewhere.
Throughout their history Honda has never been afraid of doing this.
The ‘Difficult Is Worth Doing’ strategy was born of the truth. Soichiro Honda said ‘If you choose the simple way, it will be the easiest way, it may be profitable, but that is not my way of business. I believe that only by choosing the hard way is there progress’.
The premium corporate D sector is one of most challenging in the car market. The development of Honda’s new Accord took a leap of faith from their engineers to develop from the ground up a completely new car.
Wieden + Kennedy chose skydiving formations for the accord launch campaign because of their delicate precision moves in the air. Human engineering. A metaphor for the Honda engineers’ work on the ground. We wanted to attempt to make shapes of parts of the car using real skydivers as it was a challenge – quite literally a leap of faith. The ‘Difficult Is Worth Doing’ blog and teaser spots introduced you to some of the Jump team who were going to attempt this and the difficulties that they faced. This built conversations online.
Channel 4 came to us with media space for a live 3 minute spot. We took them through the strategy and our idea of skydivers creating formations. They took our original concept and had the idea of building the Honda logo live in freefall. In conjunction with this we produced the main TV spo(which breaks on Sunday) while they were producing the live jump. This is a great example of collaboration with new media opportunities. Releasing the live event just before the launch spot breaks caused even more noise.
If you missed the live ad last night, here it is: