W+K launches new Honda idents for Channel 4

Wieden + Kennedy has launched a new set of animated idents for Honda’s sponsorship of Channel 4 documentaries featuring miniature versions of some the automotive brand’s best-known inventions.

Wieden + Kennedy has launched a new set of animated idents for Honda’s sponsorship of Channel 4 documentaries featuring miniature versions of some of the automotive brand’s best-known inventions.

The videos, which aired last night during TV show Child Genius, feature an engineer’s hands toying with Honda products including a jet, a boat, a set of cars and Honda’s walking, talking robot, ASIMO.

Wieden + Kennedy started work on the idents in January. “We took a slightly different approach this time, making one long video which linked all of the products featured before chopping it up into individual idents,” explains art director Aaron McGurk. The longer video will be launched on social media channels in July and will feature Honda inventions from the past 60 years.

“It won’t have an ending as such – because Honda’s constantly innovating – but it will show the breadth of products the company has worked on,”  he adds.

Making the idents was a long and complex process – the video took around three-and-a-half months to make and was shot using movable, weighted greyscale models which were later replaced with CG animations.

The actor featured was given a strict set of instructions on how his hands should move, explains McGurk, and had to pause and resume the same position while miniature models were switched.
Smith & Foulke then removed all traces of the real-life models and replaced them with Nexus’s CG creations.

“The tracking took a lot of time – the animators had to make sure that it always looks like the actor’s hands are holding the product and all traces of the real life models had to be removed. Getting the sound transitions right was also tricky – all of the sounds featured are recordings of Honda engines and products, and some from as far back as the 1960s,” says McGurk.

It’s a clever idea, and a fun and engaging take on Honda’s drive for innovation.

Creative directors: Tony Davidson & Kim Papworth
Copywriter: Chris Lapham
Art Director: Aaron McGurk
Producer: James Guy
Production company: Nexus
VFX: Nexus Productions & Analog
Director: Smith & Foulkes
Music + Sound: Factory & Siren

Pink Floyd fans may recognise the cover of our June issue. It’s the original marked-up artwork for Dark Side of the Moon: one of a number of treasures from the archive of design studio Hipgnosis featured in the issue, along with an interview with Aubrey Powell, co-founder of Hipgnosis with the late, great Storm Thorgerson. Elsewhere in the issue we take a first look at The Purple Book: Symbolism and Sensuality in Contemporary Illustration, hear from the curators of a fascinating new V&A show conceived as a ‘walk-in book’ plus we have all the regular debate and analysis on the world of visual communications.

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  • George

    Love it! Saw them on Channel 4 tonight, great job! Honda really is a constantly innovating company with what is in my opinion a superb brand image, particularly with their cars and how they are presented. No silly smoke and mirrors like the usual suspects i.e. BMW, Mercedes, Renault etc

  • Jack

    Hat’s off to Honda, both the animators and the sound engineers did an excellent job. It can’t have been easy recreating and polishing those vintage 1960s sounds.

  • http://www.htdl.co.uk HTDL

    Great work, what these do is give Honda a personality, so lacking in other Japanese automotive brands and you can’t beat a Honda lawnmower!

  • http://www.digitalpod.co.uk/blog/ Matthew Stapleford

    I really like the first one with the car that transforms into a plane. I agree with Jack that the animation and sound is excellent.

  • Mark Bennet

    Found some more info and pictures here. http://www.analogstudio.co.uk/work/Honda