Iconic Ads: Honda – Power of Dreams- “Hands”

The Iconic Ad of Power of Dreams – Hands combined Honda’s engineering history with its cutting-edge future technology.

With the worldwide recession, the Japanese tsunami, and a tightening UK vehicle market, Honda UK had had a difficult few years. Furthermore, their marketing budget had been cut, but their sales targets remained the same.

The company has a long history of creative advertising and strong brand loyalty. People recognised Honda as a company with a long history of compelling advertising, especially from the “Power of Dreams” series like “Cog,” “The Impossible Dream,” etc. However, there was a perception that Honda had ‘disappeared,’ so it was critical in creating the impression that Honda was ‘back,’ and that it was once again producing unique experiences for people.

In 2013, the objective was to remind people why they liked Honda and to involve as many people as possible on a limited budget. The specific goals were to raise purchase consideration by 5% and brand appeal by a whopping 10%.

Challenge

In just two minutes, Honda’s 65 years of warm engineering were to be captured.

Target Audience

Given that it’s a piece of communication for the brand, presenting a wide range of Honda products, the target demographic was rather broad. One crucial thing was that Honda wanted to appeal to individuals who were intrigued by the film and wanted to learn more about the subtle signals within it. It was made sure that the brand work was warm and inventive. Honda’s goal, as always, was to humanise the brand and let consumers connect emotionally with their global baseline, “Power of Dreams.”This way they were able to stay focused, consistent, and, most importantly, relevant to a broad demographic by doing so.

The Solution

The concept was developed by Wieden + Kennedy’s creative team of Aaron McGurk and Chris Lapham.

They created the ‘Hands’ brand film as a testament to the tinkering mentality of Honda R+D engineers, whose curious attitude had helped Honda become the world’s largest engineering firm.

The film, which depicts an engineer changing Honda items from one to another, symbolised Honda’s spirit of innovation and extensive product variety. It combined Honda’s engineering history with its cutting-edge future technology.

The commercial features a variety of Honda items, including planes, lawnmowers, and the classic family minivan.

Production

It was extremely difficult to choose which products to include simply because Honda produces so many, both past and present, and in such a diverse range. The film could have easily gone on for another two minutes if they had included everything W+K desired. Finally, they have to look at each product from the viewpoint of “does it have a unique Honda story behind it that people would be interested in learning about?” For example, the late Formula One champion Ayrton Senna collaborated on the design of the NSX. They gave him two of them as a thank you after they finished the car—one red and one black. One of the cars had the licence plate “BSS 8888,” which stood for “Beco,” his nickname “Senna,” “Silva,” and “8,” which represented the year 1988, when he won his first Formula One championship. It makes a passing reference to it in the film but doesn’t reveal too much because they want the curious to go out and find the answers.

W+K began by modelling CAD data for each Honda product before creating small CG models of all of them. They then used a hand model to interact with miniature models (made of wood with active parts) following a complex storyboard. At the time of the shooting, he needed to memorise his hand movements and positions because his hands were positioned around the camera setup, which meant the camera’s body was in front of his face and he couldn’t see what he was doing. After everything was shot, the animation was stitched together and layers upon layers of detail were eventually added.

Nexus’ directors, Smith & Foulkes, collaborated closely with Analog on all of the visual effects and animation. Factory Sound worked on the sound design for a long period, which wasn’t simple because they had to dig deep into the archives to create it.

Nothing was re-created from scratch; everything they used was the correct and original sounds for all of the goods.

Release

Honda had been financing Channel 4 documentaries, which had been a success. They opted to use the agreement with Channel 4 to re-energize the brand, working with their agencies Starcom Mediavest and Wieden & Kennedy.

They recycled the sponsored bumpers’ creative concept into new content of varying lengths.

They prepared a two-minute execution for the introduction of the new creative and landed a spot on Channel 4 in the first ad break of their new Sunday night drama, Southcliffe, on August 4th, 2013. This was to be the world premiere of their new piece, so they worked hard to make sure as many people as possible were aware of it.

They created 10-second teaser teasers with the hashtag #HondaHands to entice viewers to go to Twitter and inquire about the Honda advertising launch. These teaser spots aired in between episodes of Rude Tube, 24 Hours in A&E, The Big Bang Theory, and films on Channel 4.

There was also activity with the national press, digital outdoor, web, and radio to heighten the anticipation for the two-minute commercial.

Following the launch, viewers were able to access additional content via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The two-minute commercial was also shown in theatres for five weeks around the release of Rush.

Results

In just over four days, the clip received over three million YouTube views, which is an incredible response. More than 660,000 people watched the video on YouTube.
They resulted in considerable increases in search volume.
The purchase consideration was increased by 10%, which was more than double the goal.
The appeal of the brand also improved by 10%, meeting the goal.

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