Honda recently teamed up with Wieden+Kennedy to create “Ignition,” a European campaign that dramatizes Honda’s daring ambition, capturing the brand’s philosophy with the inspiring campaign line: “Dare to do the things others only dream of.”
Inspired by Honda’s daring spirit, the film pays homage to one of the boldest expressions of human curiosity and engineering endeavour; space flight.
Space travel-inspired iconography and cinematic details aim to capture viewers’ imaginations, from atmospheric photography to the same climatic classical music that was etched into the Voyager 1 probe’s golden record and sent to the outer fringes of the solar system.
Opening on Honda’s humanoid robot, ASIMO, the camera reveals a line-up of Honda products arranged on an impressive runway. The sky and sun are reflected in the road surface and the water below. Viewed from above, the formation mimics the familiar shape of a space shuttle or rocket.
The Mill’s team of artists once again pushed the boundaries of photoreal VFX by creating a host of CG vehicles and atmospheric elements, which were then all seamlessly tied in with the cinematic live action footage in just seven weeks.
The CG team worked to meticulously re-create Honda assets including the ASIMO Robot, NSZ, Jet and F1 cars to an extremely high specification; ensuring that each shot looked realistic and was able to blend naturalistically with the shots of vehicles that has been shot in live action.
The narrative is tied together through a billow of smoke, simulated in Houdini by a team of dedicated artists who worked to generate particles via a flip simulation, to drive smoke emission as well as using multiple custom velocity fields to manipulate the smoke streams in a natural motion.
2D Lead Dan Adams comments, “As well as the obvious technical work compositing fully CG vehicles so they sat comfortably along side real ones in the beautifully shot live action footage, one of the most challenging aspects of the project was creating this narrative of billowing smoke. The blizzard had to travel down the stack of vehicles increasing in its ferocity as the ad nears its climax. A mixture of carefully crafted 2D and 3D elements was used to achieve this, and the smoke became as much an integral part of the spot as the vehicles themselves.”
The final picture was then finished with a striking grade by Mill colorist James Bamford.
Executive Producer Mill Gemma Humphries comments, “After the success of Honda Type R ‘The Other Side’, we were thrilled to be working with Wieden+Kennedy and SomeSuchandCo again on a new Honda film. Aoife had a very clear vision for the film and worked closely with the lead artists Jon Wood and Dan Adams to deliver a beautiful film that we are all very proud of.”