Honda is rolling out “Cog”, a Rube Goldberg chain reaction in which a single cog sends into motion a selection of 85 brand new Honda Accord components. The 2003 ad that still shows on our television screens, is promoting the Honda Accord. “Isn’t it nice when things just… work”, we’re told. There’s not one human in the ad, which means of course that it can be shown anywhere in the world where Honda Accords are sold.
Back on 6 April 2003, viewers of the Brazilian Grand Prix were introduced to ‘Cog’, a two-minute work of art as advertising, perhaps inspired by Rube Goldberg’s artwork. The immediate reaction of many viewers was that this was trick photography. But no… it was all filmed in one take. The six hundred and sixth take. But one take in the studios of Partizan in Paris.
The Cog ad was the culmination of five months of pre-production stages carried out by Director Antoine Bardou-Jacquet. As filming began, the call went out for genuine parts from new model Honda Accord cars. It was a work of detail – getting the camera angles just right. Ensuring that everything would work just right. Making sure that the spray from the windscreen wipers would stimulate the next phase of the sweep.
Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)
Boards have a 5.1 MB mov version.
Click on the image below to play the Making-of video in YouTube (HD)
Click on the image below to play the 118 118 Spoof in YouTube (HD)
Check out the trailer for The Way Things Go, a 30 minute film directed by F. Fischli & D. Weiss in 1987. Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)
The Honda Cog campaign was developed at Wieden & Kennedy, London, by executive creative directors Tony Davidson and Kim Papworth, art director Matt Gooden, copywriter Ben Walker, with agency producer Rob Steiner.
Sound was designed by Jonnie Burn and Warren Hamilton at Wave Studios. The music used in the Honda Cog spot is “Rapper’s Delight”, performed by American hip hop trio SugarHill Gang as a single in 1979.
Honda Cog has won countless awards, including CLIO (gold), Epica (gold), Cannes Lions (gold), The One Show (best of show), International ANDY awards (silver), British Television Advertising Awards (Best TV commercial of the year), Advertising Creative Circle Awards, (gold, platinum), Eurobest (gold), D&AD Awards (silver), IPA Advertising Effectiveness Awards (gold), International Automotive Advertising Awards (gold and best of show), and Advertising Festival Ad Awards Tenerife.