Roy Exum: The Story of “Cog”


In 1998, Honda sales in Europe collapsed and Nissan overtook Honda behind the Japanese leader Toyota. According to Wikipedia, an advertising agency has come up with a new advertising strategy based on Honda’s Japanese motto “Yume No Chikara” (The Power of Dreams) to launch the seventh generation Honda Accord. What they created became the most downloaded ad in Internet history.

The ad’s working name was “Cog” and over 30 million people watched the two-minute tape on YouTube. The description on the internet reads: “And you thought those people setting up rooms full of dominoes to knock over were amazing.” There are no infographics or digital tips in this movie.

Everything you see actually happened in real time exactly as you see it.

There’s no tape splice, no special effects, and it took seven months to complete the entire project. The margin of error was 1/16e an inch. The film took 606 takes. Of the first 605 takes, something, usually very minor, went wrong. They would then have to put everything back in place. The team spent weeks shooting day and night. In the end, they were ready to change professions, according to Internet history.

The film cost $ 1 million to create and an additional $ 6 million for the advertising campaign. Due to television costs, the two-minute ad only aired in England, Switzerland and Austria. The actual shooting took three months, including the complete engineering of the footage. Plus, it’s 120 seconds long, so every time Honda airs the movie on TV, they fork out enough dough to keep one of us in the clover a lifetime, according to the internet description.

However, it quickly became the most downloaded advertisement in Internet history. It’s won every industry award, and Honda executives believe the ad paid for itself just in “free views” (Honda doesn’t pay a dime to get you to watch this ad!)

When the announcement was presented to senior executives, they signed it immediately without any hesitation, including costs. At the time, there were only six and only six Honda Accord hand-built in the world. Much to the horror of Honda engineers, the filmmakers took one apart to make the film.

Everything you see in the movie (other than the walls, floor, ramp, and the complete Honda Accord) are original parts from these two cars.

The whole movie is silent except for Garrison Keillor’s voiceover at the end.

When the ad was shown to Honda executives, they liked it and commented on how amazing the computer graphics were. They almost fell off their chairs when they found out it was real.

Oh, and on those awesome windshield wipers. On the 2003 Accords, the wipers have water sensors and are designed to start doing their job automatically as soon as they get wet.

To watch the wonderful “Cog”, CLICK ON HERE.

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