65-Second, 77mm Spot Cost $2 Million to Produce

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SAN FRANCISCO ( -- American Honda Motors Co. next week launches a $6 million branding spot that it says is the first-ever
Sceens from the Honda IMAX commercial.
commercial shot in the giant-screen IMAX format.

70mm shoot
Unlike other marketers that simply show standard movie spots at IMAX facilities, Honda's commercial was shot using 70-millimeter film, the same stock on which IMAX films are shot.

The spot breaks as part of the Oct. 17 premiere of Pulse: a STOMP Odyssey, at the IMAX Theatre in the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The 40-minute IMAX film billed as a global study of the "universal language of rhythm" features the music and dancing of diverse cultures, from Brazil to New York.

Whimsical cars
The 65-second ad, from Honda's longtime agency Rubin, Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif., shows a rugged mountain landscape where a number of whimsical interpretations of Honda vehicles drive along a sinuous high-desert road. Some vehicles look like insects, flying saucers or a house on wheels; others have teeth in the front grill or a huge windup key through the roof.

At the end of the spot, the cars return to their origins -- the drawings of a group of children. The spot carries the tagline "The Power of Dreams."

"It demonstrates Honda's values," said Sindy Beekman, vice president and general manager of Rubin Postaer Direct.

Local tie-ins
In addition to the production, Honda plans a community tie-in with the nonprofit Young Audiences of New York. The program, rolling out in five markets in its first year, brings local students to see the film, and then helps them create and stage a musical performance on their own.

Rubin Postaer developed the spot under Larry Postaer, executive vice president and director of creative services, with Mark Erwin and Wendi Knox, both senior vice president and creative director. It was directed by Gerard de Thames and has an original score by Danny Elfman. Production costs were estimated at $2 million, according to executives familiar with the situation.

400 IMAX screens
Under an exclusive global sponsorship deal, Honda holds rights to the film for three years during its showing at 400 screens globally. Unlike standard movie engagements, IMAX films roll out over a number of years and often play for months or years. After the initial three years of the contract, Honda will own three years of video and DVD rights to the film.

The deal was worked out between Honda, the agency and the IMAX film's producer, Jim Stern, and distributor, Giant Screen Sports, Chicago. The deal is valued at $4 million, according to executives familiar with the situation.

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