The One Show At The North American International Auto Show

By Carrie Cummings Posted on Jan 13, 2014

The One Show is back at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this year and named the top auto ads across five verticals: print/outdoor, television commercials, online video, interactive and experiential. We talked to the people responsible for the brilliance behind each project. Click through the slideshow to see the work and gain a better insight on how auto advertisers are doing it right.

Fiat "Letters" – Leo Burnett Tailor Made/Sao Paulo (Print/Outdoor)

With the abundance of digital these days, it's hard to create an out of home print campaign that really resonates with an audience. Can you talk about the process in coming up with a compelling print campaign that would have an impact on people?

It was a process of observation. Various elements can cause traffic accidents when attention is not being paid to them: signs, pedestrians, poles, trees, etc. And from this starting point we began to combine each of these elements with the letters of the alphabet through the use of optical illusion. An entertaining way to show people a simple truth: either you look and see the letter or the traffic. It was our Big Idea.

What has the public response been?

Public response was highly positive, precisely because it was a simple and accurate graphical solution that makes you think.

And although it was not a digital idea, the fact that it was on the social networks for such a long period worked as a way for us to measure public acceptance of the idea. Something else that caught our attention was the fact that people started using the alphabet we created as the initials to their names and posting them on Facebook in the place of photos.

Is Fiat happy with the campaign?

Feedback from the client could not have been better. Firstly because they encouraged and supported the idea right from the early drafts. Moreover, once the first three letters were ready, Fiat had no doubts: "We want a complete alphabet."

The challenge rose. As did our satisfaction with the end result.

Honda "Sound of Honda/Ayrton Senna 1989" – Dentsu/Tokyo (Online Video)



Where did the idea to translate Ayrton Senna's fastest lap into sound and light come from?

Honda's car navigation system "Internavi" collects and analyzes real-time drive data in order to design and provide drive-related information. We wanted to examine Internavi's unique technology and history and to verify the potential of the drive data. That's where the idea came from.

How long did it take to recreate the fastest lap?

The project was carried out in phases. First we started out with the development and release of a smartphone app that you connect to your car audio system so you could drive to the sound of an engine of a historical vehicle. We then combined that synthesizer program with the drive data of Ayrton Senna to recreate the engine sound, and we prepared for the project at Suzuka Circuit. The entire production of the Sound of Honda Project took over a year.

How did the public react to this video?

Despite the fact that the project video was released only on Honda's official SNS because the project did not have a budget for buying media time or for any active PR, we had an enormous response from around the world immediately after its release. Many comments expressed in different languages came in from Japan as well as Brazil, Europe, the US and many other areas, including words of appreciation towards Japan and Honda.

What was the client response? How involved were they in this spot?

All the Honda Internavi projects are handled in collaboration with the client's engineers. For this project also, we asked the engineers who were in charge of Ayrton Senna's engine at that time to give us advice when we analyzed the data and recreated the sound of the engine. Upon receiving feedback from around the world after the release of the project video, the client commented, "I have been involved in advertising for nearly twenty years, but never have I seen anything that moved the hearts of so many people worldwide than this Ayrton Senna 1989 project."

How does this work influence the way you handle an automobile client in the future?

We were able to show that we can prove how outstanding an automobile company's technology is by highlighting the technology itself instead of just giving examples or using fancy words. Technology in advertisements have usually been used to elicit amazement or a sense of convenience; but our challenge in this project was to deliver an emotional story-telling with technology. Our successful effort suggests new possibilities in the way advertising can be expressed in the future.

Hyundai "Driveway Decision Maker" – Innocean USA/Huntington Beach (Interactive)

Where did the idea for the campaign come from?

The Hyundai Elantra was named 2012 "North American Car of the Year." Then Hyundai came out with two new Elantra models: the Coupe and the GT. An easy decision just got harder. So we made it an easy decision once again by creating the "Driveway Decision Maker" – a novel way to virtually try out each of the three vehicles and see which fits you best.

What was the client's response?

Most car configurators are only utility based, they lack any human emotion. Our clients were pleased we found a unique way to explore the vehicles, while giving the experience a personal touch, by driving the car right to your own house. Most of all, they were excited that 910,000 people took virtual test drives, configuring and sharing their own Hyundai Elantra.

Can you talk about crafting such a detailed user experience?

A number of paths were explored. Above all, we wanted the experience to be simple and magical at the same time to achieve a wow factor.

Google's Maps data and Street View imagery, projection mapping and real-time 3D animation really opened up the possibilities for us. We combined the technologies to help people see what an Elantra would look like in their own driveway. The experience began by selecting one of three Elantra models and inputting an address. Then with projection mapping onto a real Elantra, the chosen car would drive through a colorful digital world, transitioning into Google Maps for an overhead view approaching their address, then Google Street View, where it drove down nearby streets with the final shot of the car arriving in their actual driveway. Once there, they could pick the exact parking placement, change colors, trim levels or model and share their vehicle across social media.

Toyota "Tundra Endeavour Campaign" – Saatchi & Saatchi/Los Angeles (tie) (Experiential)

Jack Hollis, vice president of Toyota Division Marketing at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

How did the idea for this project form?

The opportunity to help transport the Endeavour to its new home was the result of a more than 20-year relationship between Toyota and the California Science Center to bring awareness to the space program and continuing science education through exhibits and events. The idea to tow the shuttle was born in close collaboration with our agency-of-record, Saatchi & Saatchi LA.

There were many talented groups, individuals and experts involved in bringing the Tundra Endeavour tow concept to fruition. Saatchi & Saatchi LA and our many colleagues and partners helped guide the project through its many stages, from the engineering and testing to the actual tow and all of the logistics in between. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity, and although daunting and near impossible, it was an idea that everyone was determined to make a reality.

Why a Tundra and not another Toyota?

Tundra has served as the California Science Center's truck-of-record for many years—from being featured in a display demonstrating the physics of leverage to helping collect samples and materials for the Center's bio-diversity exhibit. Tundra's history with the Science Center combined with its powerful 5.7-liter V8 engine made it the right truck for the job.

We knew the shuttle's journey to its new home at the Science Center was something the world would be watching which gave us a chance to prove that the Tundra is built to do any job—even tow a space shuttle. The Endeavour tow reinforced Tundra's credibility and capabilities while cementing its place in history.

Can you talk a little about the creative process behind this project?

When we first offered to support this project, we were happy to assist the Science Center with any portion of the tow. Then we learned that the combination of the shuttle and its original dolly were too heavy to cross the 405 Freeway. We worked with Sarens Group to conduct feasibility tests and develop a lighter dolly to tow the Endeavour over the Manchester Bridge.

We spent many months working with the Science Center, Sarens Group, NASA, the California Highway Patrol and several other entities to prepare for the big day. And from the initial concept to its execution, our partners at Saatchi & Saatchi LA were with us every step of the way. While we were focused on the task at hand, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to document this epic journey. We filmed the entire process, including the initial testing of the truck's towing capacity, and decided to use the footage in a marketing campaign to achieve two goals: raise awareness for the Science Center's space program and ultimately demonstrate the capabilities of the Toyota Tundra.

BMW "A Window Into the Near Future" – kbs+/New York (tie) (Experiential)

Marc Hartzman, Group Creative Director, kbs+

Where did the idea for this installation come from? How did you bring this idea to life and make it meaningful to passersby?

The idea was hatched in early 2012 when the creative team, Kevin Keehn and Cesar Rubin, were walking through our agency's Manhattan neighborhood and noticed the reflections of cars in store windows. Imagine if those reflections showed the futuristic BMW i vehicles people could be driving in the near future? And by the near future, we meant as soon as late 2013.

When we first discussed the idea with our technical team, their eyes widened. At first, they thought, "No way." But then, their gears started spinning and they thought, "Well, maybe …" and the "what ifs" started flowing. With a few ridiculously powerful projectors, some perfectly positioned motion-tracking cameras, and several hundred thousand lines of original code, we made it happen.

It was a perfect fit for the BMW i Born Electric Tour (organized by BMW's headquarters in Munich) which was making its stop in New York City in November of 2012. The BMW i Window into the Near Future was an innovative way to create awareness of the new BMW i sub brand and the event by engaging passersby with its unique transformation of live traffic and offering thought-provoking data around environmental and financial benefits. Most importantly, it drove people inside the event to witness the actual BMW i concept cars, discover the sustainable ways in which they're built and learn more in general about the sub brand.

What was the public's response to this campaign?

Very enthusiastic! These were two cars that wouldn't be available more than year, yet, we brought them to life through this outdoor installation that augmented reality within live traffic. We made an intangible feel very real to all those who experienced it firsthand. I personally enjoyed witnessing passersby stopping and turning their heads back and forth from the window to the traffic, discussing with their friends what was happening. It was very rewarding to know the illusion we created was so effective and impacting people experiencing it. There was definitely a sense of awe regarding the cars and the window showcasing them.

Why NYC? Did the installation resonate more with New Yorkers?

New York is always a grand stage, but beyond its heavily targeted population of potential drivers and influencers, and large media presence, it made sense for a few additional reasons. From a technical standpoint, it offered the environmental situation we needed—namely, heavy foot traffic and busy streets with large windows just feet away. Also, Munich was taking BMW i on a worldwide "Born Electric" tour, with New York being its sole U.S. stop. So using the Window into the Near Future to promote the event was perfect.

Are these cars really the future of automotive?

Efficiency is key, whether it's greater mpgs or going electric. With the BMW i vehicles, drivers can have efficiency and still enjoy the performance inherent in every Ultimate Driving Machine. Infrastructure is growing quickly along with the electric vehicle adoption rate. So yes, they are indeed the future. And BMW will continue evolving them so the future is even more exhilarating.

Honda "Hands" – Wieden+Kennedy/London (Television)

Aaron McGurk and Chris Lapham and Paulo Salomao, Wieden+Kennedy London

The spot showcases different Honda products from airplanes to lawn mowers to the traditional family minivan. Can you talk about how the idea to showcase the company's range of products came about?

It was really tricky to decide which products to put in, simply because Honda has so many, past and present, and such a broad range. If we had put in everything we wanted, the film could have easily gone on for another two minutes. In the end we had to put each product through a lens where we asked, "does it have a unique Honda story behind it that people would be curious to know about?"

So, for instance, the NSX car was co-designed by the late Formula 1 champion Ayrton Senna. When they finished the car they gave him two of them as a thank you—one in red and one in black. The license plate on one of the cars was "BSS 8888," which stood for "Beco," his nickname "Senna," "Silva" and "8" representing the year 1988 when he won his first F1 title. We make a nod to it in the film but we didn't want to give too much away as we wanted the curious folk out there to go searching for the answers.

What was Honda's initial reaction when you brought this idea to them?

The original brief was for a set of TV idents but we saw an opportunity to execute idents differently i.e create one long film and then cut it up multiple ways to fit the ident spaces which were 15, 10 and 5 seconds long. So to be honest, Honda wasn't expecting to see it as it's a little left field in its execution. However, they embraced the idea and could see its potential even though it took a bit of a creative leap to understand the vision we had in our heads for the film. We are really grateful that they were brave in buying the work in the early stages.

What has been the response to this ad in general?

Incredibly positive, both externally as well as internally within Honda. Itgained over three-million YouTube views in just over four days, which has been an amazing response. What we love is how curious people are about the products and the little stories sprinkled throughout the film—there are still a few that people haven't spotted yet! It feels as though the film is naturally making people curious to learn and find out more.

Can you talk a bit about the special effects involved in this ad? How did departments work together to make it happen?

It wasn't easy.

We had to start off by modeling CAD data for every Honda product before building miniature CG models of them all.

We then had a hand model interact with miniature models (made out of wood with moving parts) according to a very complicated storyboard. He needed to learn his hand movements and positions off by heart because when it came to shooting his hands, they were positioned around the camera rig, which meant the body of the camera was in front of his face so he couldn't actually see what he was doing.

Once everything was shot, it was a case of stitching things together and gradually adding layers and layers of detail to the animation.

The directors, Smith & Foulkes, from Nexus worked closely with Analog across all the FX and animation. The guys at Factory Sound spent a long time working on the sound design, which wasn't easy as we had to delve deep in to the archives to make sure everything we were using was the correct and original sounds for all the products, noting was re-created from scratch.

It was a huge labor of love but we're glad everyone went the extra mile with it.


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