Recently I was in a discussion based around our most memorable car company television commercials that really stood out.
Several people said their favourite was the ‘Football, meat pies, kangaroo’s and Holden cars’ from the 1970’s, another went for the 2013/14 ‘Bought a Jeep’ series of ads, while I thought the ‘Hey Charger’ campaign also from the 70’s was memorable, probably because I owned one at the time. But the suggestion that surprised us was for the 2003 Honda ‘Cog’ Commercial that was produced to promote the seventh generation Honda Accords.
When it was pitched to senior Honda executives, they signed off on it immediately without any hesitation – including the cost, which was one million pounds to make it as part of a six-million-dollar campaign. As it quickly became the most downloaded advertisement in Internet history, they figured the ad paid for itself simply in “free viewings”.
Two minutes long, there are no computer graphics or digital tricks in the film and everything you see happened in real time exactly as you see it. It took 606 takes as on the first 605 takes, something, usually very minor, didn’t work so they had to set the whole thing up again. The crew spent three months shooting night and day to complete the production
At the time, there were only six hand-made Honda Accords in the world and to the horror of Honda engineers, the filmmakers disassembled two of them to make the film. Everything you see in the ad (aside from the walls, floor, ramp, and complete Honda Accord) are parts from those two cars.
The final cut of “Cog” was broadcast on British television on 6 April 2003, during a commercial break in ITV’s coverage of the 2003 Brazilian grand Prix. Due to the high cost of 120-second slots in televised commercial breaks at the time, meant that the full version of “Cog” was broadcast only a handful of times, and only in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Sweden.
Do you remember this Honda Accord Cog commercial?
Here’s a behind the scenes look at The Cog commercial.
Still to this day, I think it’s an amazing ad.