See the Ad Stop-Motion Artist Pes Created for Honda

New Spot for Ridgeline Debuting During Olympics Kicks Off Big Campaign

By Published on .

Reprints Reprints

Advertising Age Player

Honda has reunited with stop-motion artist Pes for an ad that kicks off a big new campaign for its 2017 Ridgeline pickup.

A TV ad debuting Friday during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games uses stop-motion filming in an attempt to portray the versatility and utility of the truck, which hit the market in late June. The ad shows six Honda Ridgeline trucks hauling materials to construct what appear to be five distinct construction projects, including a playground, a garden and a motorcycle racing track. But as the camera pans out, the scenes come together to spell out "Honda" as a voiceover declares, "If you can dream it, you can do it."

Pes, whose full name is Adam Pesapane, last worked with Honda for a spot called "Paper" that debuted in September and weaved together roughly 3,000 hand-drawn illustrations using stop-motion filming that took viewers through a paper-flipping, historical journey of Honda products. The ad was added to the permanent collection at The Museum of Modern Art via the Association of Independent Commercial Producers awards. Pes earlier gained notoriety with playful object-based, stop-motion film shorts including "Western Spaghetti," and "Fresh Guacamole."

The new Honda spot is called "The Power of Ridgeline." The creative agency on the spot is RPA and the production agency is Reset, with Mr. Pesapane serving as the director.

"We really wanted something that stood apart from traditional truck advertising that you see on television because it's Honda and we like to do things a little bit differently," said Susie Rossick, assistant VP-marketing at American Honda Motor Co. So "we decided to take this turn and show all the different things that you can do with a Ridgeline -- not just the typical throwing lumber in the back and then going off to a construction site."

Honda first teased the pickup with a Super Bowl ad that featured a flock of sheep singing Queen's "Somebody to Love." The spot highlighted the Ridgeline's truck-bed audio system that allows for music to be play outside the truck. The ad aired before the truck was available for sale. It hit dealerships on June 21. But Honda used the Super Bowl ad to steer potential buyers to a future vehicle section of About 120,000 people expressed interest in the truck by asking for more information, according to Ms. Rossick. She said it is too early to gauge how many of those people have been converted into buyers. The automaker on Tuesday reported that it sold 3,518 Ridgelines in July.

The new campaign will run on TV throughout the Olympics, and spending will increase in September and October with buys during college football and NFL games and new fall TV shows, Ms. Rossick said. She declined to reveal total expenditure, but said "it's a huge launch for us."

Spending includes advertising during the Sept. 10 college football game between Tennessee and Virginia Tech at Bristol Motor Speedway. Honda has exclusive auto category ad rights for one quarter of the night game, which will air on ABC. The game has projected attendance of 150,000, which would beat the college football attendance record of 115,109, according to The title sponsor of the game, which is being billed as the "biggest college football game ever," is Pilot Flying J.

The Honda Ridgeline is presenting sponsor of a tailgate party the night before the game featuring a three-act concert with performers including Kenny Chesney.

Other campaign plans include homepage takeovers on Yahoo and MSN, as well as large-scale outdoor ads. Ads will run in men's lifestyle publications covering sports, fitness and technology. On social media, Honda will feature four stop-motion videos debuting in mid-August that spotlight Ridgeline features such as its cargo space and payload capacity.

Honda has partnered with a woodworking site called Videos will show woodworking projects being constructed in the back of a Ridgeline. The pickup will also be featured on, which features Adam Savage, the former host of the TV show "Mythbusters."

Most Popular