Honda unveils 60-second ad for new energy-saving engine

Wieden & Kennedy London has produced a successor to its much-vaunted "cog" film for Honda, this time focusing on the car brand's energy-saving engine technology.

The 60-second spot aims to promote Honda's Integrated Motor Assist engine - which uses a combination of a petrol engine and an electric motor for efficiency - by featuring different energy sources working in an efficient manner. Neither the IMA engine nor the Civic, Honda's first model to incorporate the technology, features in the ad.

Tony Davidson, the joint creative director at Wieden & Kennedy London, said: "In the film, we illustrate a number of different power sources powering up and down and obviously this works as a metaphor for IMA itself."

The commercial shows everyday situations where power sources "sense" when they need to turn on or shut off. A television is shown powering down as a man falls asleep on the sofa, a tap turns itself off as a man walks away from brushing his teeth and lights in a train station only come on when the train arrives and people begin to step on to the platform.

"The whole aim of the ad is to show what we have termed 'sympathetic power' or power serving people. It is about energy saving and future technology and the ultimate aim of the commercial is to get people to feel differently about the Honda brand," Matt Coombe, the marketing communications manager at Honda UK, said.

"This is a very different kind of commercial from what we have done recently. Instead of featuring the product or parts of a car, this ad is all about the Honda brand and how Honda has created this new technology," he added.

Part of the long-term strategy is to introduce the idea of IMA technology as the de facto standard that should be available in all vehicles.

"It was very important that we showed Honda's IMA technology in a way that entertains and intrigues," Kim Papworth, the joint creative director at W&K, said. "We want people ultimately to consider IMA in the same way they consider Dolby when buying a stereo or Intel when buying a PC."

The ads will be positioned around news, factual and documentary-style programming as well as popular shows such as Big Brother and Six Feet Under.

The second stage of the £4 million campaign, which launched in August, will use press and posters to explain the IMA product in more detail.

Honda claims to be the first manufacturer to launch a hybrid-fuel engine car into the market and aims to have IMA technology models account for a significant proportion of total sales within five year's time.

The spot was art directed by John Cherry and Davidson with copywriting by Tom Chancellor and Papworth. Direction was by Peter Thwaites at Gorgeous.

Media planning is by Naked with buying handled by Starcom.