Four things I like. Good Design, auto racing, animation/motion graphics, and high-quality video production. When these elements combine into something that epically leverages all of them it’s hard to contain myself.
I love this video. I’m not sure who the production company was behind it, or if Honda did this in house but the end result is spectacular. The video showcases Honda’s involvement in Formula One racing opening with racing legend Richie Ginther at the wheel of the Honda RA272, which won Honda’s first F1 race at the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix. The car then morphs into Ayrton Senna’s iconic MP4/4 from 1988 making its way around the narrow corners of the Monaco Grand Prix. Then the animation jumps all the way to 2006 when JensonButton won the Hungarian Grand Prix at the wheel of Honda’s own F1 car and team. From there we cut to Max Verstappen and his heroic win at the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix, and then again at the German Grand Prix.
The piece is interlaced with live-action footage from the races, highly stylized animation, nice use of typography, all built on a limited color pallet of red, black, yellow, blue and white. The style of the animation has a nice graphic novel look, that is matched perfectly to the driving music and soundtrack of engine sounds, crowd, and announcer overlays that help pull the whole thing together. The small details like the speed lines that emanate from the bold titles and the insertion of the Japanese text is a really nice visual design touch that is carried throughout the entire video.
Well done Honda. This is one of the better promotional pieces I’ve seen for Formula One. I’m not sure where this is going to run but I have a feeling during broadcast F1 races. It has a run length of 60 seconds and could be edited down to a 30, or even a 15-second spot if needed.
The high production value on this is sure to pay off. So a solid spot.
The video below was all done in camera. While there might have been some post work done here, the important thing to think about is, the animation was all done in camera. That means the pre-planning and visualization for this spot had to be perfect before they started shooting. Why? because New York-based stop-motion artist Adam Pesapane has 3000 unique shots here. I’m sure there were a lot of reshot sections and do-overs, but still I’m sure this was planned out down to the last details. The total time to build and complete was around 4 months, and it shows. The animation is seamless, and the quality is fantastic, which just goes to show that quality takes time and can’t be rushed.
To introduce the new Honda CRV director Chris Palmer and Glassworks Creative Director Jordi Bares worked to create the first endless commercial playing off of an optical illusion called the “Droste Effect” which creates an endless visual loop. Taking more than 126 previs attempts using 3D modeling, Glassworks opted to build an actual set and shoot the spot live, blending the final results with CGI components. In addition to the TV spot, there is a YouTube channel that locates your position on the planet and serves up a rendering of the commercial that mirrors the time of day, weather conditions, and knows your location. In addition, you can navigate to other cities around the world to see what the conditions are like there. This is really, really nice work tying together digital and broadcast components into a hypnotic and engaging promotion. Both the making of, and the finished video are below.
Working in the field of digital design for the last couple of decades I have become keenly aware of the shift away from tangible objects, the connection we have with them, and a returning desire to engage with them. There is an entire generation of people that have grown up surrounded by computer generated content, and content that only exists in some form of electronic bits. Over the last few years there has been a strong resurgence for hand crafted, tangible, physical things that extend beyond the digital world that exploded in the 1990’s. The video below by Douglas Gautraud was produced for the My Rode Reel competition and is an exploration about relationships, objects, times, ideas, and people. It’s a great little narrative short that was one of the Vimeo staff picks and rightly so. The five minute film can be voted on here for a chance for Gautraud to win.