Honda type-R Ad: Award-Winning Simplicity

Jeff Davidson

Sometime a great ad is as much an advertisement for the creative agency behind it as it is for the client. Take this recent interactive video spot by Wieden+Kennedy, London, for the Honda type-R.
Honda created an engaging and near perfect advertisement to promote the Honda R.

Flawlessly executed to function both on the desktop and the tablet utilizing Youtube, was an instant viral hit, simultaneously luring you into the mysterious underworld and the ho-hum-every-day world of the driver, while allowing you to alternate between each universe simply by pressing the “r” button.

No doubt, much has been written about this ad. It’s destined for Gold or better at Cannes. An incredible amount of work went into creating it. And yet, the idea itself can be summed up in a single sentence. That’s the true genius behind it.

Too often, creatives try to squeeze every possible message about a product or service a into a single ad, rather than focusing on one simple idea that engages, inspires or intrigues. I’ve come across hundreds of 2-minute or longer ads over the last several years. I can’t remember a single one. Yet I sat through all 2:55 of this one—thoroughly engaged from beginning to end, inspired to go back and play again, eager to share with all my friends, and most importantly, curious to learn more about the Honda type-R.

This ad is a lesson for all of us. A reminder about the power of simplicity.


Magnani is an experience design and strategy firm that crafts transformational digital experiences to delight users and deliver sustainable competitive market advantages for our clients.


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