The Best (Non-US) Car TV Ad Ever: Honda’s Cogs – Superb, But Not 100% Original

I’m jumping the gun a bit, as Jeff Nelson is going to end our CC Ad Week tomorrow with his compilation of the best car tv ads ever. So start remembering and finding your favorites for that. But this one deserves a special post of its own.  A brilliant two minute ad of mechanical marvel using parts from a Honda Accord, and shot without any computer effects in real time (actually two continuous shots stitched together) Cogs aired in the UK in 2003, and quickly became an internet sensation. Undoubtedly, you’ve seen it before, but it stands up well to re-runs.

The Cogs ad campaign was highly successful for Honda, and the ad won numerous awards. (you can read the whole write up here). But there was some controversy about Cogs, primarily in that both the whole concept as well as a certain specific scene (tires running uphill) were “inspired” by a Swiss film made in 1987, “The Way Things Go” (Der Lauf Der Dinge). Now that’s quite the way to spend thirty minutes. I’m going to embed it (in three sections) after the jump, although the only versions I found have an electronic music soundtrack added. Oh well. But keep in mind like almost everything under the sun, The Way Things Go was hardly completely original either. But then ideas rarely are; the execution is what counts.