Honda Follows Through Online After Debut Of Stunning 2-Minute “Paper” Animated TV Spot

The carmaker pushes for online video views in the latest iteration of its #PowerOfDreams branding effort.


Have we reached the point where everything in traditional media is designed to drive people online? It would appear so. A case in point would be Honda’s latest branding effort, centered around an animated video called “Paper” that was aired for the first time on CBS Sunday during NFL broadcasts. “Paper” ties in thematically to Honda’s longstanding “Power of Dreams” tagline.

The new video, since uploaded to YouTube and featured as the main element on the home page, has gotten nearly 650,000 views on the video site since it was posted Sunday. Produced by Academy-award-winning filmmaker PES, “Paper” manages to meld cutting-edge animation with the oldest medium ever — pieces of paper — to chronicle Honda’s entire history as a company.

Here’s a snippet as an animated GIF that gives you a taste of the action as it appears on


Honda said it would be driving TV viewers online to an “interactive version” that highlights each product shown and allows users to click and find out more about each, but that version is nowhere to be seen at the time of this writing. A Honda representative hasn’t responded to my inquiry about this interactive version.

The non-interactive version of the video, which has also racked up 2.5 million views, 28,000 likes and 1,400 mostly positive comments on Facebook, is pretty impressive all the same. It begins with founder Soichiro Honda building a motor-powered bicycle, then progresses to motorcycles, to outboard motors, to Honda cars, to racing versions, and finally, to robotics and jets. A riding lawn mower even gets the spotlight.

The action takes place through hand-drawn, colored and manipulated images on paper that appear against a background of schematics and blueprints — even the paper evolves from sepia-toned to more modern looking as time goes on.

The commercial concludes with the copy, “You never know where a dream will lead you.”

“The goal is for the marketing itself to become a demonstration of Honda thinking and all the people that touch our wide range of products along the way,” Tom Peyton, assistant vice president of Marketing for American Honda Motor Co., said in a statement.

Honda is supporting the online video with video advertising on Facebook and YouTube, while also posting on all of its social media presences to spur organic sharing. Additionally, it has released a longer behind-the-scenes video to fuel interest in the ad — and that one has received 70,000 views.

The two-minute version of the spot will run on network TV during programs such as “Dancing with the Stars,” “Rosewood,” “Minority Report,” and “Blue Bloods.” It will return to football-related programming on ESPN’s coverage of college football on Saturday. A one-minute version will air through October on NBC, CBS, Fox and ABC.

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