Feature

Classic Ads: The Cog (Honda Accord)

So much patience, so many parts, such a great advert from 2003.

Words by: First published: 5th October 2017
The Honda Cog advert from 2003 is one that sticks in my mind.

If you don’t remember it: a cog rolls along a table, hits an exhaust pipe, which rotates and hits piston rings, which roll into an engine block, and so on and so forth until the Honda Accord is revealed.

I wondered at the time whether they did really manage to do it without any computer graphics or digital trickery, and it turns out it was all real, apart from a very small bit of CGI.

The advert was filmed in two takes rather than one, disappointingly. If you can’t see it, the split is at the one minute mark when an exhaust box rolls off to the right of the screen.

It took months to get the Cog advert right, going through script approval, concept drawings, and development and testing. It took 605 takes to get it right, with the first 604 having an error – big or small – which would require the whole lot to be set up again.

I’m not sure how anyone would have the patience for that, but it seems worth it. It was 14 years ago and I still remember it...

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