Problem Playground ad for Honda, Agency: Wieden + Kennedy London, Creatives: Sam Heath, Frank Ginger, Director: Antoine Bardou-Jacquet, Production company: Partizan
Following the huge success of Cog, Grrr, and Choir, it’s always interesting to see where Wieden + Kennedy will go next in its advertising for Honda. So it was exciting to receive their latest commercial for the brand at CR towers this morning.
Problem Playground introduces the new Honda FCX Clarity, the first zero-emission hydrogen car to go into production. The ad takes as its theme the idea of game-playing as a means of solving difficulties and is a continuation of the recent print campaign, which encouraged people online to a special website, problemplayground.com. On the TV spot, we find a bunch of boffins using retro children’s games, such as jigsaw puzzles and Rubik’s cubes, to illustrate engineering problems that have been solved by Honda, including the hybrid engine and energy efficient solar panels. They even slot in a small reference to Cog by creating a chain reaction with coffee cups and sugar cubes on a tea break.
While perhaps not as striking as some of the earlier spots for Honda (perhaps we are now expecting too much?), the team at Wieden’s have once again found a visually interesting way of demonstrating what could be potentially boring car facts. However, as always, the spot ends with Garrison Keillor’s voiceover spelling out the message of the ad – a feature of Honda campaigns that gets more patronising and irritating with every spot. Maybe time for a change there?