Honda has quite a good history in creating sincere, original and amazing ads – from the classic “Cog” where a sequence of car-parts fall in domino-style, to the choir singing the sound of a Honda, and now, another breathtaking advertisement that again redefines the scene.
With the tagline “Difficult is worth doing”, Honda’s latest advertisement involves skydiving – 19 of them exited a plane and form the letters H, O, N, D ,A sequentially in free fall – no computer effects or stuff like that. The entire clip was telecast live on UK television too – here’s the video of that jump:
Their blog ‘Difficult is worth doing’ also has some documentation of the effort and some of the behind-the-scenes preparation and action. I find it quite cool for Honda to portray the ‘stick-your-head-down and really solve the problems on the ground’ sorta attitude – from the series of ad (as well as the tagline of the current one), you could feel Honda’s inherent desire to really face the challenge head-on and not try to get shortcuts (e.g. the “Cog” advertisement was repeated 600 times to get that perfect one-take; no computer effects that would’ve easily visually accomplished what they’ve set out to do physically).
And here’s Honda’s “Jump” ad, the final, produced version of this endeavor:
“Wait a minute, that ain’t quite right!” – yup, they aren’t. Mario Amaya distorts our perception of these familiar icons, and mix-mashes them with other brands to interesting effects. Do you think some of these could’ve worked – or even, better than their original?
Whether you’re an Apple fanboy or a PC die-hard, a good commercial is a good commercial. Here’s a clever parody portraying Lenovo’s edge over the Apple MacBook Air – showing off its integrated DVD-Drive, Ethernet ports and 3 USB ports and driving home the message: Lenovo’s machine is not a compromise, but a complete machine that still fits within that small envelope.
In almost every post this would inevitably draw fanboys on the Mac and the PC sides, claiming the superiority of their preferred choice while mudslinging the ‘enemy’. Sometimes it makes me wonder – with the marketing adage that apathy is worse than hate/love – so, what if everything you use has some crazy zealous fan/enemy? All the way from the choice of your breakfast cereal, to the file you use, to the USB cable that you carry – what if each and everyone of them has such polarizing camps?
If that sounds too scary or faraway, then what exactly is the essence that makes a product more polarizing than others? What is it about operating systems, MP3 players, computers and cars that bestow upon them this natural (?) sense of territory and boundary, of ‘me’ versus ‘the rest’?
Flogos are flying logos – a company has found out how to make these puffy white things and set them up into the sky, bearing whatever marques you wish to have through stenciling. The sizes aren’t too big now – from 24 inches to 48 inches – so you aren’t about to see a giant logo hanging on the horizon over the city’s skyline, yet. So for now, they’re still cute, funky little things that’d be great to spice up your launch event or what-have you.
But I’d imagine them getting bigger as technology improves. New and bigger. From 48 inch to 48 feet. From white puffy things to multicolored splendor (Flogos is already working on tinted versions).
The thought of walking out of your house, and being unable to avoid advertisements and commercials even in the skies is rather troubling. Right now we’re seeing them on billboards, signs, streets, buildings…imagine when the sky’s full of these clouds too. On one end of the sky you see a whole patterned formation of LV’s monograms; elsewhere you see McDonald’s arches and Apple’s half-eaten apple jostling for space and attention, each pretending to be a clever gimmick, a part of nature’s clouds – when they are patently not.
And if these cloud-logos are just that – a bunch of water vapor – how would a city district regulate it? Can you classify it as a blimp that needs license for the airspace it permeates? “But it’s just a cloud!”. And it can probably be released anywhere, rather anonymously and difficult to trace.
Maybe I’m just in a bad mood. Anyway, below is a video showing the small versions floating indoors.
There’s a rather interesting observation by Cabel in Japanese advertisement panels – many of them have decided to abandon showing the URL, but instead recommending the keywords to search for. Keywords are probably shorter and more directly relevant to the promoted products, and it could also be more wieldy especially for a nation where some are perhaps still less familiar with the Roman alphabets. I suppose the advertisers would have to be really good in making sure their sites are the top returns in search engines.
Cabel also has an interesting question:
But, I ask you: could this be done in the USA? Wouldn’t search spammers and/or “optimizers” ruin this within seconds? I did a few tests with major name brands and they’re almost always the top hit on Google (surprisingly, even Panic). But if Nabisco ran a nationwide ad campaign for a hot new product and told users to Google for “Burlap Thins” to learn more, wouldn’t someone sneaky get there before they do?
Cant help but to have a wide grin seeing these adorable icons getting ‘kiddie-fied’ (Minichamps is a scale-model car seller). It’d be really interesting if the cars themselves can get kiddie-fied and yet still retain the iconic DNAs of the respective marques. Any designers keen on taking this challenge?
Here’s an advertisement for Philips shaver, set in a sci-fi futuristic setting. I liked the artistic direction and details of the film – but at the same time, I can’t help but to wonder whether it’s (waaaaay) too elaborate for a shaver. If it was for a car, I can still associate the emotional attachment. But for a shaver, it is attempting to give too much of an mystical aura to a shaver – is there anybody that emotionally engaged and invested in their shavers?
I came across and was very much inspired by the two ads above from Nike, titled ‘Defy’ and ‘Endure’ respectively. They were really wonderful in many senses. For both videos, a series of really expressive scenes extracted from sports played in slow-motion, coaxing and allowing the emotions from the sportsmen/women to really flow out to the viewer (with matching background music too).
‘Defy’ paints a picture of hope and of celebration of the human body – how great athletes seem to defy gravity and common notions of what is possible – aptly ending with the tagline ‘A little less gravity’. On the other hand, ‘Endure’ takes a straight look at the less glorious part of sports – the agony in endurance, defeat and disappointment, with the tagline ‘A little less hurt’. Juxtaposed together, they show poetically the humanness and the emotions in sports – and that they are very much simply two sides of the same coin.
If you have been inspired and motivated by the strength of human spirit in sports and endurance, be sure to also check out this story which has been floating on the Net recently, chronicling the superhuman feat of a 61-year old farmer who beat professional athletes in a grueling 875-km race, simply because he didn’t know he was supposed to stop and rest.