Honda's latest ad is worth watching simply because it's fantastic animated art. The spot doesn't show off some shiny new car — instead, it takes two minutes to celebrate the history of the company and the vast array of products it produces.
The ad aired during four early NFL games which usually charge a bit more than $300,000 for 30 second spots, according to Ad Age. That prices Honda’s 8 minutes of advertising on Sunday at around $5 million… with more runs to come.
The ad is constructed from thousands of paper illustrations stitched together with stop-motion filming. It was shot on large table — acting almost like a physical map of the company's history — and the pages are flipped and swapped out by hand in thousands of separate shots. The focus on paper and illustration is a clever way to make us appreciate what engineers and manufacturers do: bring ideas on paper to life.
Like Honda's products, the ad centers around the engine. It flits from vehicle to vehicle over the decades, and transforms from the trusty internal combustion motor all the way to the jet engine. There are plenty of wonderful little details in the ad, including the background. As the vehicles themselves travel through history, they carve their path along landscapes draped with the company's engineering diagrams.
After you've had enough of the ad, check out a brief making-of video (above) for a behind-the-scenes look.