The Advertising Apprentice

July 25, 2009

Impressive Honda Campaign

Filed under: Advertising — adamlauzon @ 9:30 PM
Tags: , , ,
Here’s a set of five print ads that, I found on Ads of the World, together make-up a campaign for the Honda and Honda FCX Clarity.

(I apologize that you can’t see them displayed on this page large enough to read the text. So at the bottom of each ad I’ve included a link so that you can see them in a larger form.) 

Let me discuss why this campaign works from a creative standpoint:

  • It’s aesthetically pleasing. There’s not a lot of clutter, just the capital letter and a few short sentences below.
  • The copy itself. If you take the time to read each ad you’ll see that the copy ties in very nicely to the visuals used to make up each letter. You’ll also notice that the first two ads promote the FCX Clarity while the other ads are used to promote how green and environmentally friendly the company is.
  • Consistency. All five ads end by asking the question “Do you believe in the power of dreams?” That’s a pretty powerful tagline that ensures attitudinal consistency in all the ads. Visual consistency is present in the layout and design of the five ads. This campaign achieves verbal consistency by the use of the phrase “Honda engineers” in three of the five ads. I suspect that by referring to the work of the Honda engineers it’s their way of showing the R&D work they’ve done to improve their products and thus they’ve invested time and money to be more socially responsible.
  • The absence of the Honda logo. Could they have included the logo in one of the corners? Of course! Someone with minimal graphic design experience could have easily used Photoshop and inserted the logo. But this is is one of those situations where  I think less is more. A logo would have taken away from the synergy of the ads. 
The last thing I should acknowledge is that these ads were created to appear in magazines. While it’s possible that you’d see all five, in order, while flipping through a copy of The Economist or Newsweek, it’s not likely because of the extremely high cost to advertise five full-page colour ads in these magazines. So you’re probably looking at a situation where the ads would appear “randomly” in various magazines with lots of readers and over a period of time you’d come to recognize the ads. This technique is used to build people’s curiosity and interest in the ads, create a little bit of intrigue which in turn will lead to some sort of action whether it be a visit to the Honda website or a visit to a Honda dealership! And that’s the ultimate goal of advertising: to generate action. It’s said that in order to get to that point of action a person has to be exposed to your message anywhere three to seven times! How long does it take for you? 

Oh, and by the way I at the recent Cannes Lions 2009 Awards Ceremony, this campaign won a Silver Award under the “Press Lions” category for the agency that produced the ads, Wieden+Kennedy!

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