Auto Express, Britain’s best-selling weekly car title, has today named Honda’s ‘cog’ advert the best car ad of all-time. The 2003 ad for the Honda Accord took 31% of the votes in the poll of users of Autoexpress.co.uk. Ford’s ad for the Puma featuring Steve McQueen took second place, while Peugeot’s 206 advert, ‘The Sculptor’, was third.
Readers picked their favourite car advert from a list of 20 memorable adverts, shortlisted by the experts at Auto Express with the help of Richard Megson, creative director at the advertising agency Red Brick Road.
Steve Fowler, Auto Express editor-in-chief, said: “Honda’s cog ad ticks all the boxes for car ads: it’s incredibly watchable, clever and memorable with a great soundtrack, too. We’re not surprised it came in at number one in our poll, but the size of the vote for it shows what a great ad it is.”
Developed by creative advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, the ad shows a cog rolling gently down a wooden plank, knocking into a larger cog. It sets off an incredible chain reaction in which a huge array of Accord parts knock, roll or swing into each other. The ad changed the perception of Honda and its drivers, with it proving so watchable you just don’t want it to end.
Neil Christie, Managing Director of Wieden+Kennedy, was delighted by the result saying: “Fantastic news! That's the power of dreams in action.”
The top 5 adverts as voted for by the Auto Express readers were:
1. Honda Accord: The Cog
2. Ford Puma: Steve McQueen
3. Peugeot 206: The Sculptor
4. Citroen C4: Transformers
5. VW Golf GTI: Changes
The full shortlist of car adverts can be seen in this week’s issue of Auto Express (issue 1248) on sale this Wednesday.
Cog looks certain to become an advertising legend and part of its allure
is the seemingly effortless way the relay of parts slide and touch and
roll with such apparent ease. The reality of the film's production was
slightly different. It was, by most measures of human patience, a
Here's a video we put together about how the ad was made, showing that it was all done for real. (Tony Davidson hasn't aged a day since this was filmed!)
Most ads run and are quickly forgotten. For Cog still to be topping polls ten years after it ran, suggests that it was worth going through the nightmare to create something that has lasting appeal.
Yes, OK, we have gone on about this before, but now here's a scan of the actual article from ADWEEK detailing Wieden + Kennedy being named their agency of the year 2012.
Here's what they said:
(The) work on Wieden’s global reel this year represents advertising
at its best—words and images that spark emotions and transcend
Even for a premiere creative agency like Wieden—Adweek’s Global
Agency of the Year for 2012—this was an exceptional year. The most
memorable Super Bowl ad. The Emmy (its fourth straight). The biggest
campaign ever for Heineken, celebrating the brand’s global sponsorship
of the James Bond flick Skyfall. A whopping 45 Lions
at Cannes (including 29 out of its Portland, Ore., headquarters, making
it Agency of the Year). Banner wins like Tesco, Sony, Facebook and
American Express Open. New business and organic growth from existing
accounts fueled a swift rebound from the loss of Nokia and Target, in
2011 and early ’12, respectively. The agency ends this year with global
revenue growth of 5 percent to an estimated $294 million.
Among its peers, independent agency Wieden, now in its 30th year,
inspires both pride and envy. After all, in the past four years, Wieden
has won an average of 29 Lions a year. Agency co-founder and global
president Dan Wieden attributes that creative consistency to building a
culture that’s “just more fun than you can believe and harder than hell.
That generates ideas, great enthusiasm and new ways of looking at old
Tesco’s Matt Atkinson likes what he sees thus far in Wieden’s
London office, which, led by managing director Neil Christie, beat TBWA,
VCCP and JWT in July to claim one of the most coveted accounts in the
U.K. The retailer, which each year produces more than 1,000 ads and
spends about $175 million in media, last month broke a campaign that
centers around a familiar object in England this time of year: the
Wieden brings “an ability to help you express yourself in the new
world,” says Atkinson, Tesco’s group marketing and chief digital
officer. “That was what we were looking for.”
Marketing Week has run a piece on its favourite campaigns of 2012. It includes two from Wieden + Kennedy. Here's what they said:
P&G – Proud Sponsor of Mums (W+K Portland)
Procter & Gamble’s global ad campaign for the Olympics would have melted even the coldest heart. Its Thank You Mum activity took a simple, if sickly sweet, premise and made it work as a corporate slogan and for its individual brands. Even with its blatant gender bias it managed to speak to every demographic in every nation by identifying a common insight.
This campaign earns its spot among the top campaigns of the year list purely for its seductive technique.
Southern Comfort – Whatever's Comfortable (W+K New York)
Southern Comfort marked its refreshed marketing activity this year with the launch of this “Whatever’s Comfortable” campaign.
Slow, deliberate and methodical, the 90 second ad slot, with no voiceover and little narrative, doesn’t even feature the product until its closing scenes in a creative execution that disrupts otherwise predictable ad air time.
The suspension of the product placement and overt brand messaging doesn’t adhere to viewer expectations letting the accompanying backing track, folk singer Odetta’s “Hit or Miss”, carry the viewer through.
In the creative, Southern Comfort’s pot-bellied, loincloth-wearing protagonist is clearly “comfortable” with himself as he saunters his way through crowds of ‘beautiful people’ on a sun-soaked beach.
The drinks manufacturer stepped up its marketing drive this year by reputedly doubling its media spend from 2011 plus this execution also marks its first campaign with new agency Wieden+Kennedy New York.
Clearly, the creatives were given full license to ‘wow’ the new client and the viewing public
The year 2012 was quite good in bits for Wieden + Kennedy London. Come with us now, as we go back in time to review some of the stuff that happened to us, with us and by us in the last twelve months. You may meet polydactyl cats, you may fall down a rabbit-hole to play with a Nike-wearing Sonic the Hedgehog, and you might be enticed into The Great Unknown. You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight
and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination.
Next stop…the Wieden+Kennedy zone!
Nike – Make it Count
January 2012 marked the beginning of a very important year
for sport in the UK. Not just for top athletes but for everyone.
This was the year to step up and Make it Count. To celebrate
we launched a campaign that saw top UK athletes make their
pledges for the forthcoming year, whilst inspiring people to be
part of the movement and make their own pledges under the
The article said: “Adidas is currently getting around 0.4% of
all conversations around the Olympics associated with its
brand. Its non-sponsor rival, Nike, is dominating Olympics
brand buzz with 7.7%. A lot of this can be attributed to Nike’s
#makeitcount campaign – a runaway social media success… The campaign resonates with sports fans by associating Nike
with training for the Olympics and cleverly skirts Olympic
ambush marketing rules.”
Goes to show, if you don’t have a huge marketing budget, you
need to #makeitcount.
Early in 2012 we launched Lurpak Lightest, Lurpak’s biggest
launch in 10 years. It was an important initiative, allowing
Lurpak to compete with other low fat spreads on the market
by offering health-conscious consumers a new low fat product
that doesn’t compromise on taste.
We did everything from naming the product and designing
the packaging to creating the launch campaign, which was
described by The Drum as “Fantastic… marvelous…
“Significant new Honda TV work from Wieden + Kennedy
London is typically an anticipated event, and the brand’s new
“Spark” commercial does not disappoint. The beautifully
filmed spot—narrated by the longtime voice of Honda Europe,
Garrison Keillor—tracks the journey of an idea from the
darkness of inception to its dramatic full realization.” AdWeek
Damon Collins wrote of it in Campaign:
“My favourite ad right now is “The Great Unknown” from
Honda… Why do I like it so much? Is it because it’s beautifully
produced, with stunning visual effects and immaculate sound
design? (Have a listen – that’s what awards sound like.) Or is it
because, as so often with the campaign, the thinking behind
the words is so alluring?”
Our 2012 work for Three, the UK’s fastest-growing network,
highlighted the fact that it’s the network built for the mobile internet.
Maximus – Rise and Conquer!
We pitched and won the Maximus vodka business in February.
Our first work recently launched in the brand’s home market
of Poland and will roll out across other parts of Europe later
This is a world in which a generation of young men is inheriting
a legacy of economic worry and doubt. It’s a world in which
traditional masculine values are under threat. This has been
described as a ‘he-cession’. (Really, it has.) It’s difficult for men
to remain confident or upbeat and this is having a direct effect
on their most precious gift, their manliness. Tests have shown
that testosterone levels are in general decline.
Our campaign aims to inspire today’s generation of young
men to feel empowered to be manly and take on the world.
Maximus Vodka embodies the qualities which make men, men
and is a celebratory toast for all young aspiring men who dare
to reclaim their manliness. Rise and conquer!
Nike – My Time is Now
Our innovative ‘My Time Is Now’ global campaign for Nike celebrated the ‘next wave’ of young footballers, from
young kids to elite athletes looking to make an impact on
the world stage.
Launched online first, the campaign was driven by a variety of
different interactions and experiences. By following ‘tunnels’
hidden in the film, fans could do everything from playing a
Nike-wearing version of Sonic the Hedeghog, to booking a
footballer’s haircut, to – of course – buying Nike kit.
Sports Industry news reported: “Nike football has revealed
that the ‘My Time Is Now’ campaign has been named the
brand’s most successful football campaign ever. Featuring
global icons including Cristiano Ronaldo, the ‘My Time is Now’
film has received over 39m views (30m flat film views & 9m
interactive film views across all platforms) and is the fastest
growing Nike film ever.
Consumer engagement has reached record levels for the brand, with fans reportedly spending an average of 6mins
18secs viewing the film and the “hidden tunnel” content that
rewards consumers who engage with the film.
We picked up the Stride gum business from Kraft at the end
of 2011. Our first work broke in the US this year and, timed to
precede the launch of iPhone 5, we launched the Mintacular
variant with a spoof of Apple’s product launches.
In the run-up to the launch we posted a mystery billboard in
Apple style, featuring nothing but a date. Two weeks later we
revealed Stride Mintacular – “Chewing redefined. Again.”
We also launched a viral film that spoofs Apple’s product
launch videos, featuring gum engineers talking with awe
and wonder about the amazing new Mintacular, “the
most advanced celebrity-endorsed chewing product
we’ve ever launched.”
“A great parody and hilarious,” said the New York Times.
W+K won the Tesco business in autumn 2012 following
a competitive pitch. The scope of our assignment covers
all aspects of the Tesco business, including food, general
merchandise, banking, delivery services and clothing. Our
first task was to promote Tesco’s products and services in
the run-up to Christmas.
Tesco was looking for a single thought to focus all their
activity and communications. One that could help them to
connect with customers, and to unify all their 300,000 staff.
The idea we came up with was, ‘We make what matters
This helps to give new meaning and focus to the familiar Tesco
line ‘Every little helps’. As the country’s largest retailer, Tesco is
in a position to understand what really matters to people, and
to help make that better.
The Christmas campaign highlighted the little moments that
go to make Christmas special, and showed how Tesco could
help make them possible. This was a fully integrated campaign,
with the story played out on TV, in print, in store and online.
FUZE Tea – when this meets that
Coca-Cola awarded us the Fuze Tea business without a pitch
early in 2012. The new campaign, now rolling out across 27
markets, is based on the thought that everything great in
the universe is the result of ‘when this meets that’. Simple.
From when Big met Bang, to when Tea met Fruit, everything
great is always a combination of things. Fuze Tea is just
another example of this.
MoreAboutAdvertising said of the work: “Wieden + Kennedy
London has produced some brilliant ads in the years since the
celebrated Hall of Fame favourite for Honda Grrr announced a
major new force in agency-land but, arguably, nothing quite to
match this new mini-masterpiece, ‘WhenThis MeetsThat’.
Nando's – Find Yourself
In partnership with our new client Nando’s, we launched ‘Find Yourself,’ a campaign taking people on a voyage of
self-discovery through the world of PERi-PERi chicken.
The idea attributes different levels of the PERi-PERi spectrum to different character traits.
‘Find Yourself’ demonstrates that, no matter what type of person you
are, there’s a spice for you at Nando’s.
On Twitter, Nando’s predicted people's spice levels based on their
past Tweets. We also created a Facebook app, so the curious could
answer situation-based questions to ascertain their spice orientation.
On Spotify, ads offered up a different spice for
listeners, based on the music they’re into. So if you appreciate distorted power chords
marinated in barbaric bass, you’ll like your chicken Extra Hot. Whereas if
you’d rather something a little more alternative, Drum ‘n’ Yodel perhaps,
then Mango and Lime’s for you.
Tactical press extended the idea by tying in 'Find Yourself' with current events.
If you haven't tried it yet, click hereto find out which PERi-PERi spice reflects your personality.
Lactofree – Listen up, hedgehogs!
In February 2012, we launched the new Lactofree campaign.
The star of the ad was a hedgehog (Madison), because
hedgehogs are lactose intolerant. The spot showed our lady
hedgehog wandering around her local supermarket and
daydreaming about all the wonderful dairy moments she
misses out on- creamy coffees in Paris, buttery crumpets
round a campfire, cheesy pizza on a romantic date.
The ad explains that lots of us suffer from Lactose intolerance,
but that we can still enjoy dairy. Lactose is the sugar in dairy,
which is what causes digestive issues for most people.
Lactofree make real dairy products- milks, spreads, cheeses
ice cream, yogurts etc, that have the lactose taken out. So
with Lactofree, the dairy kingdom can once more be yours.
Finally, a couple of campaigns from over there that did rather well over here this year.
P&G – Proud Sponsor of Mums
Created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland for P&G's sponsorship of London 2012 to honour the amazing mothers behind Olympic
athletes, “Best Job” shows the hard work all mums do to
raise their children—a lifetime of chauffeuring their children
about, washing their clothes, providing meals on the run and
supporting them at practices and competitions—all to see
their children succeed. The hardest job in the world, is the
best job in the world.
Among many honours, this spot won the 2012 Emmy for outstanding commercial.
Southern Comfort – Whatever's Comfortable
The 'Whatever's Comfortable' campaign, created by W+K New York, launched in the UK this autumn and immediately made an impact.
James Brown wrote in Sabotage Times: "So have you seen it yet? The advert some are the calling the best ever made? Certainly the funniest around right now. Not only is the new Southern Comfort commercial the best
on television right now it also applies an aspect of feminism for barrel-chested, beer-bellied sex gods."
Number one in the world: Nike My Time Is Now as the most viewed commercial of 2012. The second-biggest sporting event of the year next to the Olympics was probably soccer's Euro 2012, which explains why this ad was the most viewed. The commercial is filled with big soccer stars like Ronaldo, Iniesta, Ribery or Neymar, who are challenged by group of unknown players who invade a stadium in the middle of a game between France and the Netherlands. The spot has had 20,937,432 hits.
Wieden + Kennedy had a very strong showing on the YouTube list, being responsible for a total of seven ads in the top 20. Chrysler 'Half Time in America' was at number 8, Nike Mercurial Vapor at number 9, and Old Spice spots filled numbers 13, 14, 19 and 20.
W+K also featured again in The 10 most popular ads among YouTube UK users in 2012. The number one ad for, Honda UK’s “spark” by Wieden & Kennedy London, has had had 3.8 million global views. The ad centres on a “spark of inspiration” at a Honda factory, as it passes through a series of adventures, before finally revealing the manufacturer's latest Civic model.