The new Honda Insight, while not technically a full parallel hybrid like the Prius (it can cruise on electric power alone but not accelerate), will nevertheless be cross shopped heavily with the heavy weight from Toyota. The Insight's main selling point is its price, which starts under $20,000, but you wouldn't know that from Honda's first Insight ad.
The commercial, called 'Let it Shine', was created by the Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam and uses a bank of Insights parked in a grid near the mountains as pixels in a giant LED-like display. When the sun goes down, the headlights begin flickering on and off to create a cutesy animation to the tune of "This Little Light of Mine".
It's the same kind of creative marketing we've come to expect from Honda, which scored its biggest commercial hit with a Honda Accord commercial that showed a Rube Goldberg-like machine created entirely out of car parts. The Insight commercial won't actually air in the U.S., so you're best chance to see it is after the jump. We've also included a Making Of video that shows just how difficult it was to produce.
Making of 'Let it Shine'
Honda Shines Bright In New TV Ad To Support Affordable Hybrid Car
March 26, 2009 - Honda will debut its latest TV ad 'Let it Shine' in April to support the launch of its new hybrid car, the Insight. The advertisement is part of an integrated marketing campaign to work towards the company's aim of environmental leadership across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia (EMEAR) by 2015.
The 60, 30, 20 and 15-second TV spots marks the global launch of the all-new Insight – the most affordable hybrid on the market – which aims to make cleaner car technology accessible to a wider audience. The new Insight goes on sale at the start of April in most of Europe.
The advertisement opens on what appears to be the world's largest LED screen displaying an animated sequence of simple dot matrix graphic stories that depict the notion of 'good'. The animations show hugs and kisses, frowns turned into smiles, and general goodwill – all aiming to convey people's inherent wish to be good. As the animation plays it is slowly revealed to the viewer that it is actually being created entirely by the headlights of hundreds of Honda Insight cars. The spectacle is set to a bespoke recorded version of 'This Little Light of Mine' created by Berend Dubbe.
'Let it Shine' has been created by Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam for use across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia. The European debut of 'Let it Shine' takes place on March 28 in Belgium.
The campaign extends Honda's strategy of continuing to be at the forefront in environmental technologies and communications. This new approach underpins a communications plan which will run alongside the expansion of Honda's hybrid range with a coupe based on the CR-Z concept and a Jazz hybrid set to join the new Insight and existing Civic Hybrid in the next two years.
Chris Brown, Head of Marketing for Honda Motor Europe comments: "We would like to become the most admired company in the world, and to do this we need to have the most admired brand and communications across our region, EMEAR. This is a continuation of our journey."
This latest campaign is truly integrated; with print, outdoor and digital in addition to TV. The theme 'Everyone Wants to Be Good' is incorporated throughout, as well as the iconic 'Honda Eco' flower - a visual cue to the 'Eco Assist' system within the Insight which encourages and rewards efficient driving.
In the end, although the team discovered that the idea was logistically feasible, they were concerned about the carbon footprint that a shoot of that magnitude would leave. After doing the work to see what was possible W+K and Honda made a conscious decision to look at a more environmentally friendly alternative. The result was a fusion of modelling software for animation, a small number of Insight vehicles for scale and a few hundred Insight headlights. The vehicles and headlights were precisely spaced and wired together while a specially created computer program created the two separate halves of the animations. These animation halves were subsequently married together in post-production.
This approach allowed the team to greatly reduce the carbon footprint of the shoot. To further limit carbon output they relied on vehicles already located in South Africa, grouped shipments of props and lights as much as possible, and mandated group transportation of personnel to and from shoot. For further good measure, the shoot's carbon output that could not be prevented was entirely offset through carbon credits purchased through the Carbon-Neutral Company's Unity Portfolio.
'Let it Shine' was directed by Erik van Wyk and creative directed by Jeff Kling, John Norman and Sue Anderson. It debuts across Europe in April and will be shown in 14 countries initially.
First air date is Belgium on 28th March.