The Amazing Honda Ad Video is clever.

I received this via email today and thought you might enjoy it. Here’s the link to the video and below is the text from the email. I wonder if they could do this with the parts of a motorized wheelchair?

There are NO computer graphics or digital tricks in the film you are about to see. Everything you see really happened in real time, exactly as you see it. The film required 606 takes. On the first 605 takes, something, usually very minor, didn’t work. They would then have to set the whole thing up again. The crew spent weeks shooting night and day. By the time it was over, they were ready to change professions.

The film cost 6 million dollars and took three months to complete, including a full engineering of the sequence. In addition, it’s two minutes long so every time Honda airs the film on British television, they’re shelling out enough dough to keep any one of us in clover for a lifetime. However, it is fast becoming the most downloaded advertisement in Internet history.

Honda executives figure the ad will soon pay for itself simply in “free”viewing. (Honda isn’t paying a dime to have you watch this commercial!) When the ad was pitched to senior executives, they signed off on it immediately without any hesitation — including the costs.

There are six and only six handmade Accords in the world. To the horror of Honda engineers, the filmmakers disassembled two of them to make the film. Everything you see in the film (aside from the walls, floor, ramp, and complete Honda Accord is parts from those two cars. The voice-over at the end is Garrison Keillor.

When the ad was shown to Honda executives, they liked it and commented on how amazing computer graphics have gotten. They fell off their chairs when they found out it was for real.

Oh … about those funky windshield wipers: On the new Accords, the windshield wipers have water sensors and are designed to start functioning automatically as soon as they become wet. It looks a bit odd in the commercial. As amazing as this is, the commercial is actually based on an earlier film from the 1970s called “How Things Move” by two Swiss self-destructing artifacts artists.

Some sharp-eyed folks claim that tires rolling UPHILL necessarily require computer-generated effects. Not so. The sequence where the tires roll up a slope looks particularly impressive but is very simple. There is a weight in each tire and when the tire is knocked, the weight is displaced and in an attempt to rebalance itself, the tire rolls up the slope.


  1. Vanda
    May 16, 2006

    These are Ad’s works of moving art! Most enjoyable to watch too.

    We’ve had a couple like this on tv before. LOL it would drive me nuts working on one.

  2. pb
    May 16, 2006

    Don’t you just love a good “Rube Goldberg?” I can watch this thing over and over again!

  3. Colin
    May 16, 2006

    I’m glad I read it through to understand the tires rolling up the slope, because that defies reason unless they somehow were modified. Great advert.

  4. March Hare
    May 18, 2006

    Incredible! I sent this to all the geeky men I know. 🙂