When CGI became a thing, the special effects in movies and commercials were practically limitless. 15 years ago, Honda put together one of the best commercials ever for the 2003 Honda Accord Wagon. The commercial was first broadcast in Britain and was an instant hit because of how intricately put together it really was. And, the best part, it used very little CGI.
As the video kicks off, you’ll see a few gears rolling down a length of wood. Ultimately triggering a chain reaction that’s made up of various Honda Accord parts, including the exhaust system, a crankshaft, a hood, a set of wheels, and there is even a radiator fan and rain-sensing wipers in the mix. Ultimately, this domino effect leads to a 2003 Honda Accord rolling down a platform. We don’t know why, but it’s satisfying to watch – maybe it’s because putting together something like this took a lot of time.
But, before you click play, I want to point out a couple of things. First, the only place CGI was used was around the one-minute mark when a muffler rolls across the floor. And, this was only done because the ad agency at the time, Wieden & Kennedy, couldn’t find a studio large enough to do the entire two-minute ad in one shot, so the same space was used twice. Otherwise, everything that happens can be attributed to physics. Of course, you’re probably going to call me out on the wheels that roll uphill – just to be clear; there were counterweights stashed inside the wheels that forced them to roll uphill when displaced. With that said, go ahead and click play to enjoy two very satisfying minutes from Honda. Isn’t it nice when things just work?