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Honda commercial destined to become advertising legend
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 4/13/03 | Quentin Letts

Posted on 05/15/2003 9:14:35 AM PDT by tdadams

Six hundred and six takes it took, and if they had been forced to do a 607th it is probable, if not downright certain, that one of the film crew would have snapped and gone mad.

On the first 605 occasions something small, usually infuriatingly minute, went just slightly awry and the whole delicate arrangement was wrecked. A drop too much oil there, or here maybe one ball-bearing too many giving a fraction too much impetus to the movement. Whirr, creak, crash, the entire, card-house of consequences was a write-off and they had to start again.

Honda's latest television advertisement, a two-minute film called "Cog", is like a fine-lubricated line of dominoes. It begins with a transmission bearing which rolls into a synchro hub which in turn rolls into a gear wheel cog and plummets off a table on to a camshaft and pulley wheel. All the parts are from the new Honda Accord - £16,495 to you, guv'nor, or £6 million if you want to pay for the advertising campaign. And what an amazing ad campaign it is, too.

Back on Cog, things are still moving, in a what-happened-next manner redolent of "there was an old woman who swallowed a fly". With a ting and a ding of metal on metal, a thud of contact and the occasional thwock, plop and extended scraping sound, the viewer watches as individual, stripped-down parts of car roll into one another and set off more reactions.

Three valve stems roll down a sloped bonnet. An exhaust box is pushed with just enough energy into a rear suspension link which nudges a transmission selector arm which releases the brake pedal loaded with a small rubber brake grommit. Catapult! Boing! On goes the beautiful dance, everything intricately balanced and poised. Nothing must be even a sixteenth of an inch off course or the momentum will be lost.

[snip]

Cog looks certain to become an advertising legend and part of its allure is the seemingly effortless way the relay of parts slide and touch and roll with such apparent ease. The reality of the film's production was slightly different. It was, by most measures of human patience, a nightmare.

Filming was done over four near-sleepless days in a Paris studio, after one month of script approval, two months of concept drawings and a further four months of development and testing. One of the more surprising things about the ad is that it was not a cheat. Although it would have been much easier to fiddle the chain of events by using computer graphics, the seesaw and shunt of events really did happen, and in one, clean take.

The bigshots at Honda's world headquarters in Japan, when shown Cog for the first time, replied that yes, it was very clever, and how impressive trick photography was these days. When told that it was all real, they were astonished.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: advertising; creativeads; filmmaking; honda; rubegoldberg
This is really a feat and amazing to watch. See the video.
1 posted on 05/15/2003 9:14:35 AM PDT by tdadams
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To: tdadams
Already posted 4/30/03
2 posted on 05/15/2003 9:20:29 AM PDT by Sir Gawain (Can't debate? Play the fat card! http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/911587/posts?page=259#259)
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To: Sir Gawain
Thanks for the link. Maybe some people didn't see the original post.
3 posted on 05/15/2003 9:21:23 AM PDT by tdadams
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To: tdadams
Thanks. I was trying to find the original post last week.
4 posted on 05/15/2003 9:24:49 AM PDT by CaptRon
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To: tdadams
It's definitely amazing, but I think they wasted their time. In a world of Matrix-style effects, nobody is really floored by viewing this type of thing. It's a curiosity, to be sure, but they could have faked it and most people would have still thought it was "neat".
5 posted on 05/15/2003 9:28:17 AM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: tdadams
I've got one little problem - with the tires. The first tire hits the second, smaller tire and that tire rolls forward (uphill) and hits another tire. Then the second, smaller tire rolls backward. As the camera pans to the right, you can see that the second tire rolls forward, uphill AGAIN. How did that happen? Shouldn't it have hit the third tire and rolled back down the ramp, instead of rolling uphill again?
6 posted on 05/15/2003 9:31:47 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: tdadams
That's amazing! Rube Goldberg would be proud!
7 posted on 05/15/2003 9:32:36 AM PDT by jimkress
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To: Mr. Bird
Noting for later
8 posted on 05/15/2003 9:32:59 AM PDT by Havoc (If you can't be frank all the time are you lying the rest of the time?)
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To: SJSAMPLE
There were weights inside the tires.
9 posted on 05/15/2003 9:37:05 AM PDT by Andyman
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To: SJSAMPLE
Click the link for the full article. It explains that the tires were weighted. I'm sure that's what causes this.
10 posted on 05/15/2003 9:37:17 AM PDT by tdadams
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To: SJSAMPLE
"I've got one little problem - with the tires. The first tire hits the second, smaller tire and that tire rolls forward (uphill) and hits another tire. Then the second, smaller tire rolls backward. As the camera pans to the right, you can see that the second tire rolls forward, uphill AGAIN. How did that happen? Shouldn't it have hit the third tire and rolled back down the ramp, instead of rolling uphill again?"

They put weights in the tires, with the weight part up. when the tire hits the next, the weight throws off the balance and rolls it "uphill" into the next tire, and so on.

11 posted on 05/15/2003 9:41:02 AM PDT by RayBob
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To: tdadams
I didn't see the original.....thanks for posting. :)
12 posted on 05/15/2003 9:47:29 AM PDT by FourtySeven
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To: tdadams
Ping for later.
13 posted on 05/15/2003 9:52:47 AM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: tdadams
It's interesting. Unfortunately, I think I must be too Old and too female to 'get it'. Somebody has way too much time on their hands. I wish they'd come to my house to cut the lawn.
14 posted on 05/15/2003 9:55:54 AM PDT by Iowa Granny (Some days you're the pidgeon,,, other days the statue)
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To: tdadams
Now that is cool.

From the story:

and from the wacky engineering of Caractacus Potts's breakfast-making machine in the Sixties film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

My son always wanted to crack eggs like they do in that movie!
15 posted on 05/15/2003 10:01:09 AM PDT by eyespysomething (Breaking down the stereotypes of soccer moms everyday!)
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To: SJSAMPLE
You'd probably like this site:

The Nitpickers Site

16 posted on 05/15/2003 10:03:36 AM PDT by TenthAmendmentChampion (Free! Read my historical romance novels online at http://Writing.Com/authors/vdavisson)
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To: tdadams
This is really neat.
17 posted on 05/15/2003 10:04:13 AM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: tdadams
bump
18 posted on 05/15/2003 10:04:14 AM PDT by tom paine 2
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To: tdadams
A couple of things bother me about this video - 1) The lighting is perfect (almost too perfect). The small alcoves that hold the lights repeat going down the room, which would make an unusual room. 2) The separation in the boards on the floor seem to have a repeating pattern and a low probabilty of actually occurring.

At first I thought the video was real as described. Now I am not so sure.
19 posted on 05/15/2003 10:19:37 AM PDT by PhilSC
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To: tdadams
Bump for later viewing.
20 posted on 05/15/2003 10:23:06 AM PDT by Tennessee_Bob (Dieses sieht wie ein Job nach Nothosen aus!)
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To: Andyman
Ahhhhh. I thought my eyes were tricking me. Pretty cool. For a second, I thought they were trying to pull a fast one. Thanks.
21 posted on 05/15/2003 10:39:42 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: tdadams
days in a Paris studio,

DID YOU SAY PARIS!!!??? DIE FRENCHIES!!!!!!!

22 posted on 05/15/2003 10:42:12 AM PDT by biblewonk (Spose to be a Chrissssstian)
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To: tdadams
That is amazing.
23 posted on 05/15/2003 10:52:30 AM PDT by Centurion2000 (We are crushing our enemies, seeing him driven before us and hearing the lamentations of the liberal)
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To: Centurion2000
This must be IT --- finally ... proof of evolution (( not )) !
24 posted on 05/15/2003 10:56:09 AM PDT by f.Christian (( the VERY sick mind - won't recognize facts -- REALITY -- probability anymore ! ))
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To: RayBob; SJSAMPLE
I don't know... that tire thing still does not look right even considering the weights added. It looks like maybe there is something at their starting points to keep them from rolling down, but as soon as they stop they should go very quickly back down. They seem to freeze when they bump.

JWinNC
25 posted on 05/15/2003 11:00:58 AM PDT by JWinNC
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To: tdadams
Let's give credit where credit is due...

the London-based advertising agency Wieden & Kennedy.

26 posted on 05/15/2003 12:18:35 PM PDT by my_pointy_head_is_sharp
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To: tdadams
Although it would have been much easier to fiddle the chain of events by using computer graphics, the seesaw and shunt of events really did happen, and in one, clean take.

Brilliant. Do it the expensive way "just because".

27 posted on 05/15/2003 12:40:26 PM PDT by Dataman
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To: Iowa Granny
Somebody has way too much time on their hands. I wish they'd come to my house to cut the lawn.

LOL! Come here next, boys.

28 posted on 05/19/2003 12:09:36 PM PDT by pettifogger
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To: tdadams
Honda takes pride in producing cars people want to buy and it shows in the commercials they make to sell the cars. Actually I suspect word of mouth alone would be enough to allow Honda to turn a profit even without its cool new commercial. People just can't seem to find a disparaging word for them. In an industry where customer satisfaction is everything, Honda has gone out its way to keep its customers coming back. The rest of the automotive industry could take lessons from them in building and delivering on quality products and outstanding customer service.
29 posted on 05/19/2003 12:13:48 PM PDT by goldstategop ( In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop
Exactly.

I'm a Prelude - Civic - Accord - Odyssey myself.

30 posted on 05/19/2003 12:15:36 PM PDT by pettifogger
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To: tdadams
Thanks for the link, I enjoyed it.
31 posted on 05/19/2003 7:22:07 PM PDT by Eva
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