In all the flurry of Super Bowl ads a few weeks ago, we couldn’t help but do some thinking about what makes an ad great. The genius of a mega event like the Super Bowl is that not only do you have the ads themselves, but also the ad teasers, and Internet articles about the teasers, the Twitter fallout, the post-game ad rankings, and the articles about the rankings. Yuck.
That system is designed for ads that don’t make their point quietly. But one ad by Honda a few months before the Super Bowl illustrates the principle that a very simple concept can be far more arresting than all the din and gravitas that accompanied that sporting event.
The ad you’re about to see would have cost Honda $16 million to air at the Super Bowl. That, of course, would contrast horribly with Honda’s values of sensibility and conscientiousness, which is probably why you didn’t see it then. Instead, the ad uses two elements with great skill (three, really): first, a pair of hands which is a rather brilliant association with art, creation and ingenuity; second, a hushed, almost silent tone overall that depended on sound effects to provide character; and third should be the role of digital effects, but honestly we dislike showing the man behind the curtain.
In any case, we hope that you’ll be pleased with Honda’s creative approach: