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Ad of the Day: Honda Stretches Your Face in Fun, Trippy Launch Spot for HR-V


Conventional wisdom says millennials don't buy a lot of new cars. They're too busy playing with their iPhones. Or they're ideologically opposed to gas-guzzling, pollution-spewing automobiles.

Conventional wisdom is often wrong, however. And American Honda Motor Co. will try to prove it with the rollout of the all-new HR-V subcompact crossover SUV, supported by a couple of eye-catching new commercials from RPA.

Along with rivals such as the Jeep Renegade and Chevrolet Trax, the HR-V will take dead aim at Gen Y consumers in their 20s and 30s. Sometimes called "city utes," these mini SUVs are easier to park on crowded streets and get better mileage. Most important, they're cheap.

The HR-V starts at less than $20,000. That makes a big difference to younger consumers struggling with murky job prospects and student loan debt.

And guess what? Honda sold out its first month's supply of HR-Vs in two weeks. Even if millennials in big cities like New York aren't car shopping, those in the rest of the country definitely are, said Tom Peyton, Honda's assistant vp of advertising.

"I've got news for you. If you go to the suburbs of Chicago, they want a car," Peyton said.

To lure this audience, Honda is launching a lighthearted new HR-V commercial from RPA called "Give and Take." It shows young people who are magically able to adjust their own noses, ears, foreheads and eyebrows.

"What if you could find that sweet spot? Where everything is just the way you want?" asks the voiceover. "Introducing the crossover that gets it all right."

Peyton said the spot has a "youthful, fun, more millennial feel." Nick Lee, Honda's national brand manager, said "Give and Take" will be part of wide-ranging campaign that will include a more heritage-driven HR-V TV spot titled "Great Thinking Inside," along with a clever fold-over print ad as well as digital banners. (See below.)

Both spots were directed by Smith & Foulkes, the Nexus duo who have a long and acclaimed history working on Honda ads through Wieden + Kennedy London, from 2003's "Grrr" to 2013's "Hands." and 2014's "Inner Beauty."

Jason Sperling, executive creative director at RPA, said he wanted to create an "attention-getting" spot because the HR-V is essentially pioneering a new car category.

"We're talking to people who are probably in their mid-20s," he added.

The print work:

The digital work:

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

Client: American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
HR-V Campaign Credits

Spots: "Great Thinking Inside" :60 and "Give and Take" :50

Agency: RPA
EVP, CCO: Joe Baratelli
SVP, ECD: Jason Sperling
VP, CD Copywriter: Ken Pappanduros
VP, CD Art Director: Chuck Blackwell
Sr. Copywriter: Paul Fung
Sr. Art Director: Marcella Coad
Sr. Copywriter (for "Great Thinking Inside"): Audrey Attal
Sr. Copywriter (for "Great Thinking Inside"): Forrest Boleyn
Copywriter (for "Give and Take"): Adam Gothelf
Art Director (for "Give and Take"): Michael Enriquez
SVP, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
VP, Executive Producer: Isadora Chesler
Producer: Matthew Magsaysay

VP, Director of Business Affairs: Maria Del Homme
EVP, Management Account Director: Brett Bender
VP, Account Director, National/Corporate Advertising: Jeff Moohr
VP, Management Supervisor: Cathy O'Gorman
Management Supervisor: Rose McRitchie
Account Supervisor: Patty Mira

Production Company: Nexus
Director: Smith & Foulkes
EP: Tracey Cooper
EP (for "Give and Take"): Jeremy Smith
Line Producer (for "Give and Take"): Max Fink
Production Manager (for "Great Thinking Inside"): Fernanda Garcia Lopez

Post Production (for "Great Thinking Inside"): Time Based Arts
Animators: Chris Wood and Sam Osbourne
Flame Artists: Mike Skrgatic, James Allen and Sheldon Gardner
3D Artists: Ben Cantor, Mike Battcock, Kristoffer Andersson, Poul Resen Steenstrup, Eva Kuehlmann and Simon Goodchild
Additional Grade: Simone Grattarola

Post Production (for "Give and Take"): MPC
VFX Supervisor/Lead Flame: Benoit Mannequin
Flame: Vincent Blin
CG Lead/Lighting: Dameon O'Boyle
CG Lighter: Tim Kafta
CG artist: Clement Renaudin
Offline Editor: Billy Sacdalan
EP: Jo Arghiris
Senior Producer: Juliet Tierney
Producer: Jake Fenkse

Vehicle Scanning & Modeling: ACME Digital Content
Kevin Malling, Brandon Acree, Tyson Hill and John Wang

Music Supervision (for "Great Thinking Inside"): Squeak E Clean Productions, Inc.
Music Composer (for "Give and Take"): Squeak E Clean Productions, Inc.

Licensed Music Track (for "Great Thinking Inside"): "Gonna Build A Mountain"
Composers: Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley
Performed by: Sammy Davis Jr.
Label: Rhino Entertainment Company, A Warner Music Group Company

Sound Design: Factory
Sound Designer: Anthony Moore

Music For "Great Thinking Inside" :15's: ANTFOOD
Mix & Sound Design: Lime Studios
Engineer: Mark Meyuhas
Assistant: Matt Miller
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

—Digital Credits
Client: American Honda
Launch Date: 6/8/15

Agency: RPA
EVP, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
SVP, Executive Creative Director: Jason Sperling
VP, Digital Design Director: Michael Takeshita
VP, Creative Directors: Ken Pappanduros and Chuck Blackwell
Associate Creative Director: Jesse Golden
Sr. Art Director: Jason Ringgold
Jr. Copywriter: Caleb Nyberg
Digital Production Artist: Martin Odisho
Sr. Production Artist: Chris Gomez

SVP, Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
VP, Director of Digital Production: Dave Brezinski
Executive Digital Producer: Linda Kim
Digital Producer: Annie Hough

Executive VP, Management Account Director: Brett Bender
VP, Group Account Director: Jeff Moohr
Management Supervisor: Rose McRitchie
Account Supervisor: Patty Mira
Account Executive: Paul Sulzer
Account Assistant: Nicole Hansen

Production Partner: Time Based Arts, Inc

—Print Credits
First Insertion Date: 6/8/15
Agency: RPA
EVP, CCO: Joe Baratelli
SVP, ECD: Jason Sperling
CDs: Ken Pappanduros and Chuck Blackwell
Sr. Art Director: Jesse Echon
Copywriter: Josh Hepburn
Digital Artist: Digital Giant
Typographer: Lisa Jay
Art Producer: Sari Rowe
Production Manager: Susan Cockrell

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