On set with Honda in Kiev

We've already blogged about out latest work for Honda but please indulge us as we share some imagery from the making of 'Ignition'. 

Our team had an unforgettable experience working with our friends at Honda. 

We set up home in the Ukraine for a fortnight, shooting on the Podolsko-Voskresenskiy bridge in Kiev. 

These shots, captured by our very own Honda GAD, Nick Owen, depict the action from 'behind the scenes'.

насолоджуйтеся!

 

The bridge of dreams:

Road

Jenson looks focused as he prepares for lift off:

Jenson

Soichiro Honda’s famous quote emblazoned on a helmet – ‘Without racing there is no Honda’:

Sochiro

Anti-gravity effect to the max: 

Prep

We built a custom studio on the bridge to shoot each night:

Night

Scott, James, Nick and ASIMO relax between shots:

4 guys

We teamed up with Somesuch and Radioaktive to produce the spot, directed by the lovely Aoife McArdle:

Board

And here are some portraits from the shoot… 

Portrait-AKowalski

Portrait-JKowalski

 

Face

Other face

 

 

Honda celebrates its engineering ‘hands’

Nearly a decade ago the W+K London office opened its arms wide and welcomed Honda in for a big hug. Our goal was to humanise the brand and to make people connect emotionally with their global 'Power of Dreams' strapline.

It seems fitting that 10 years on we have launched a brand film that captures the company's 65 years of warm engineering in 2 tiny minutes.

We have simply called the film 'Hands' as a testament to the tinkering nature of the Honda R+D engineers whose curious spirit (or hands) has made Honda the largest engineering company in the world.

Last week the content launched as idents sponsoring the latest series of Channel 4 documentaries. The longer form film featured below is now flying round the internet. 

 

 

Wieden + Kennedy’s greatest Honda hits

At the British Arrows Awards last week, Honda received a special 'advertiser of excellence' award for their TV work over the last few years in the UK. We're proud to be responsible for that work. Here's a compilation edit that we made for the awards ceremony, featuring some of those commercials .

why the great unknown is great: new campaign for Honda Civic

Honda-civic-spark

Our new Honda commercial for the 2012 Civic has just been released. It's Ad of the Day in Adweek.

They say:

"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 spot, supporting the European launch of the ninth-generation 2012 Civic, is a metaphorical story about how the engineers behind the latest redesign approached the four-year effort.
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. Filmed in Iceland and Prague, the trip takes the spark across dramatic landscape to capture the trials and tribulations of creation. Toby Allen, the W+K copywriter on the commercial, says it wasn't just about using pyrotechnic magic. He and art director Jim Hilson wanted to give some plucky character to the spark as it navigates through a wind tunnel, around rugged mountains and is nearly drowned in the sea. "It's an abstract visualization of how to look at the birth of an idea, how it grew and overcame obstacles in development, and ultimately about the alchemy that happens when hundreds of ideas come together," says Allen. (You'll also notice references to old W+K ads for Honda, including the famous "Cog.")

The article continues:

While this spot, breaking on TV and online Tuesday, is about the new Civic, the intent is to have a larger halo effect on the brand. W+K creative director Chris Groom cites the role research and development play at Honda, given the company's breadth of manufacturing activities across categories like bikes, lawn mowers, robotics, generators and marine equipment. "Honda takes all that knowledge and they apply it to building a car. It's quite different from more linear car manufacturing—Honda give their engineers a lot of freedom. This is a company that believes half of its business lies in R&D."
Last fall, after the European debut of the 2012 Civic at the Frankfurt Motor Show, (for which we also devised the stand) W+K created three interactive elements to generate chatter before this TV launch, clickable from the brand's YouTube page: The first, last October, was "Follow Happy," an interactive game that allows the player to track the thought process of Honda engineers. W+K then created "The Experiment Game," an HTML5 game that uses physics principles to challenge players to create a chain reaction by placing a set of pop-up windows in sequence. (Not surprisingly, it has developed an enthusiastic following in the tech community.) The third interactive piece is "Off the Grid," which provides users with a 360-degree video environmental experience, inspired by Google Street View.

The campaign also includes press and outdoor:

Hinda civic

Honda civic 2

bloody honda bikers

 Home page
'Blood Bikes' (below) is a new addition to our series of short films about people and their Hondas. We developed these as part of Honda's sponsorship of documentaries on C4. Shorter idents run on C4 and the full length films can be viewed on Honda's YouTube channel. There are quite a few now:

Screen shot 2011-10-03 at 09.25.12
And there is other related content at the Honda Stories Hub, like night riding tips: 
Riding tips
 
We're looking for Honda-owning volunteers to take part in the final one of these films.

How do you use your Honda? Have you turned your Civic into an ice cream van? Or perhaps you use your hedge trimmer to create outlandish creatures? Whatever your story, if it’s unexpected, and just a little bit daft, we’d like to hear it.

Simply visit the site here, upload a photo or two, (or a video if you’re feeling adventurous), accompanied by a brief description of what you and your Honda get up to. We’ll turn our favourite story into a mini documentary online, and also create TV snippets for our Channel 4 and More 4 documentary sponsorship. Closing date for entries is this week, so you'll have to be quick.

Here's the 'Blood Bikes' film:

more Honda homage

Further to the Honda banana homage (below) another spoof of one of our Honda ads has just turned up. This was the original – our ad from 2006 featuring a choir imitating the sounds of a choir imitating a Honda Civic.

Further to the Honda banana homage (below) another spoof of one of our Honda ads has just turned up. This was the original – our ad from 2006 featuring a choir imitating the sounds of a choir imitating a Honda Civic.

Further to the Honda banana homage (below) another spoof of one of our Honda ads has just turned up. This was the original – our ad from 2006 featuring a choir imitating the sounds of a choir imitating a Honda Civic.

Here's a new spoof of that ad, for Eddie Stobart, which is actually not bad.

But this is far from the first spoof of this spot. Here are a couple more…

Fishy fingers and spitting alpacas on Honda shoot

Last week, Laura, Emma and I (Hollie) set out for a Honda shoot with our intrepid client Sara.
First stop Devon: and an absurdly chilly fishing boat somewhere in the middle of the English Channel.

Fish Shoot

Things to note from the first leg of our road trip…

1. On a shoot as cold and windy as this, fashion goes out the window.

Fashion

2. W+K ladies can create a professional, office-like environment anywhere.

Office

3. Next time I write the words “we open on a fishing boat in the dead of night,” I shall consider the implications.

Dark boat

If you peer closely, you might just be able to make me out in the corner of the cockpit, whimpering, while trying to warm my hands on a dead sea bass.

To Oxfordshire next, and a farm breeding everyone’s favourite British livestock: alpacas.

Things to note from the second leg of our trip…

1. If you potter into a herd of alpacas, they’ll spit bright green regurgitated crud at you. As I discovered to my detriment.

Alpaca Sign

2. Put Emma near an alpaca, and she’ll act as a sort of ‘alpaca aphrodisiac’, inciting scenes that would make my grandmother blush.

Humping Alpaca

3. If you set up a camera rig three inches off the ground on a fast-moving vehicle, you should probably take molehills into account.

Quad

The campaign should be landing in your telebox in about 6 weeks.

the epic randomness of modern life celebrated in our new Honda campaign

The new Honda Jazz launches across Europe from 1st February 2011. To support this Wieden + Kennedy has created a pan-European campaign that also launches on 1st February in the UK and will then roll out across 29 markets in total throughout the month.

The new Honda Jazz launches across Europe from 1st February 2011. To support this Wieden + Kennedy has created a pan-European campaign that also launches on 1st February in the UK and will then roll out across 29 markets in total throughout the month.

The new Honda Jazz launches across Europe from 1st February 2011. To support this we have created a pan-European campaign that also launches on 1st February in the UK and will then roll out across 29 markets in total throughout the month.

As is often the case with our Honda work, the spark for the idea came from something that was said by one of the people behind the vehicle.

Jazz quote

Those words inspired this positioning thought:

Wonderful practical

Which in turn led us to the creation of the 60” animated TV spot that supports the Jazz launch. ‘This Unpredictable Life’ glorifies the epic challenge of trying to engineer a car that predicts everything life will throw at you. It’s a reflection of the wonderful and unpredictable journey of life’s twists, turns, ups and downs – as we follow a character floating through life in an animated world.  We see his journey from birth through to growing up and starting a family of his own, collecting experiences and possessions along the way: demonstrating the Jazz’s ability to handle all that life has to throw at the modern family.

The spot was directed by Smith and Foulkes at Nexus, the same team with whom we worked on the Honda Grrr commercial that was named 'best commercial of the decade' by Adweek. They say:

‘The team at Wieden + Kennedy asked us to visually interpret their beautifully poetic script, a fantastic opportunity of endless possibilities that doesn’t come along very often.  How can you encapsulate the unpredictable randomness of growing up, falling in love and starting a family in 60 seconds?  Our simple plan centred the story on a hero who would encounter all manner of epic silliness as he navigates his way through the different stages of his life.’ 

The film is supported by a print campaign:

Jazz press 1
Jazz press 2
Jazz press 3

We have also created, in conjunction with Gravity Mobile, a ground-breaking digital app that introduces the ability to ‘play’ with a television commercial using a mobile phone.The app is available to download free from the iTunes store now.

Screen shot 2011-01-31 at 11.44.26

The app allows viewers of the film to ‘catch’ the  animated characters as the commercial appears on screen. It's the first time this sound-synching technology has ever been used in a commercial.  Here's a wee film showing how the app works:

the impossibler dream for honda

Bigger, longer, awesomer and impossibler: Wieden + Kennedy’s campaign for Honda – Impossible Dream 2010 – rolls out today across Europe.

Bigger, longer, awesomer and impossibler: Wieden + Kennedy’s campaign for Honda – Impossible Dream 2010 – rolls out today across Europe.

Bigger, longer, awesomer and impossibler: Honda Impossible Dream 2010 rolls out today across Europe.

Three years after the original Impossible Dream ad, in which a moustachioed hero moved between
vehicles from a speedboat to a Formula 1 car (each vehicle the realisation of an 'impossible' Honda dream) we are releasing a new extended version, to air across 28 markets across Europe featuring the Honda jet, the
CR-Z Hybrid Coupe, the
hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity, the Honda robot Asimo and Honda solar panels.

Honda's extended version, which
runs to two-and-a-half minutes – 30 seconds longer than the original –
substitutes the original hot air balloon ending with a Honda jet rising from the waterfall to take our hero on his fantastic voyage. It takes the previous spot, which showcased Honda's heritage, and brings it up to date by including current and future products.

This pan-European ad
campaign forms part of new strategy by the car maker, under European
communications director Ian Armstrong, to develop a consistent brand
across the region.

"'Impossible dream' is a fantastic opportunity
to showcase both historic and future products in a film that truly
generates a strong reaction from everyone who sees it," said Ian.