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New U.K. Ad For Honda Reprises Garrison Keillor

Posted by: David Kiley on April 14, 2009

This new ad for Honda by Wieden & Kennedy, U.K. is a return to using bright graphics and the distinctive voice of Public Radio host Garrison Keillor.

This spot is a corporate message ad, extolling all of Honda’s virtues. The first ad with Keillor and this style came a few years ago and introduced the U.K. motoring public to Honda’s new diesel technology. That ad won big at The Cannes ad festival in 2006, and to this day is considered the best piece of creative ever produced around diesel technology. Clearly, though, the ad transcended that narrow designation and is one of the best car ads I have ever seen..period.

The new ad, while very very good, doesn’t quite live up to the original. But few sequels do live up to the original. Godfather II is the exception. Still, it is a terrific ad in a series of terrific ads produced by Wieden for Honda.

If I was Honda (and I have made this point to Honda management), I would make more use of the Wieden work in the U.S.

Turf being what it is, though, I long ago discovered that Honda’s U.S. management is not keen to import ad work from abroad no matter how good it is. Meantime, sources tell me Wieden deliberately stays out of ad reviews for car accounts in the U.S. hoping that one day Honda changes its mind.



News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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