19 May 2010

The "Making Of" Trend: Honda Cog

The storied 'Honda Cog' ad required 600 takes over four painstaking days and nights to get right.  And there is one, completely invisible edit at about the one-minute mark.

Two stories here.

The first is the amazing ad, from the London office of agency Wieden & Kennedy, which snatched every award on the planet, and moreover, enjoyed enormous viral success  Shot in France over several days, it uses only parts are taken from a real Honda Accord.  The voice at the end belongs to Prairie Home Companion's Garrison Keillor, who has voiced Honda ads for some time.

Why not Computer Generated Imagery?  Why the time, expense, and agony of enduring 600 takes to get it right?  You probably know the answer instinctively. Somehow the ad, and the brand, become more authentic by not "cheating" with the effects.  The accomplishment becomes genuinely astounding. And working feverishly to get it right becomes a metaphor for the Honda brand itself.

The second story is the 'making of' video attached.  As Terry and I describe in our book, we live in an age where people love to know what's 'behind the curtain.'  "Making of" features scratch a mighty itch among consumers to know how things work, and how they're made.  Hence the obligatory 'making of' features that come with DVD's, creating the ironic need for two camera crews on every movie shoot: one to shoot the movie, and one to shoot the shooting.

If you find your interest tweaked by the video embedded above, and the previous four paragraphs, I rest my case.

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