RPA and Tool Drive Integrated Digital/Live-Action Campaign for Honda

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Tool, which has established itself as the go-to studio for seamless live-action and digital integration, once again showcases its concept-to-completion skillset in a mammoth campaign for Honda entitled

Good Reasons

. Tool, led by Director Evan Silver and Interactive Design Director Jeff Levine, teamed up with Honda's long-time agency of record, RPA, for the sprawling national effort, which stars actor Patrick Warburton ("Rules of Engagement", "Seinfeld") as the obliviously self-assured spokesman and includes TV, online, social media, print, radio, and other activations.

"This is a true integrated campaign, with one director executing the agency's vision from start to finish," noted Tool EP Digital Dustin Callif.

On the Tool-created Honda website (

goodreasons.shophonda.com

), Warburton leads visitors through online tutorials—basically, interactive sales films—summarizing Honda's core tenants of dependability, value, efficiency, quality, innovation and safety. Real third-party websites, such as YouTube, Fandango, and Edmunds.com, are used as evidence to back up his claims. In

Value

, Warburton leads his viewers through the virtual maze, toggling before a giant touch screen, clicking from website to website of the vast online commerce universe. Presenting the ludicrous items that people are willing buy on the Internet—from a banana bunker to a bigfoot garden yeti statue to a family, valued at $5M—the casual spokesman drives home the point that price tags do not always mirror intrinsic value, except in the case of Honda's products. Warburton navigates through his evidence-fueled presentation with playful tactility, tapping his foot to click an item for his personal purchase, taking a picture of himself and swapping out his photo on Fandango, and at one point, using his hand to work the page's scroll bar. The other online tutorials follow a similar format, seamlessly blending the physical world with the Web world.

"This was the perfect blend between spokesman and Internet," said Silver. "Basically, Patrick is living inside your Web browser, delivering the story of why Honda is superior by pulling the user into the Web world while making fun of the traditional interactive video with countless improvisational and planned gags."

In the sort of template-breaking maneuver that has driven much of Tool's rise in the integrated space, the studio reversed the traditional broadcast-first model, shooting the interactive initially and letting those elements drive the campaign.

"The traditional model has seen the interactive components as almost an add-on to the TV activations," stated Silver. "With

Good Reasons

, we led with some very powerful interactive pieces, which set the comedic tone of the entire campaign. By the time we got to the TV spots, we already had a sense of who Patrick is."

Tool worked closely with RPA, executing their core concepts and pushing the content to be optimized for an interactive experience. From their long experience teaming up with Honda, RPA delivered invaluable insight on the target audiences and the auto giant's expectations.

This Internet-as-sales-tool concept and non-linear nature of shooting website content showcased Tool's special talents in preproduction and execution. To film the extended scenes in which Warburton interacts with the Internet, tugging websites onto the screen and clicking buttons, Tool set the actor in front of a green screen, an effort that required everything to be locked prior to the shoot so that he knew where to touch and then composited in post to make Patrick appear as if he had "taken over" the Web. His actions had to appear live and seamless, which did not allow for any cuts, and required staging and filming precise one to two-minute long takes for each of the video segments.

"This was a collaborative effort through and through," stated Silver. "My background is in film and storytelling, while Jeff's is in interactive, so our knowledge bases complemented one another's perfectly, allowing us to pull off live action and integrated content in the same house. This sort of interaction - which the collaborative atmosphere at Tool not only makes possible but really demands - allowed each of us to step out of our silos and come up with cool, unique ideas."

A pair of :60s, in which Warburton walks among new Hondas, throwing out everything from self-congratulatory encomiums to his own greatness to over-the-top discussions of legal disclaimers, launch the TV campaign, which focuses on Honda's award-winning history.

Disclaimers

stars an imperious Warburton declaring himself the "best TV spokesman ever"—as backed by his personal opinion survey of himself—before pointing to a much more conclusive study of tens of thousands of individuals, declaring Honda to be tops in six different categories, a fact reinforced with a detailed disclaimer.

A Man

, the other :60, features Warburton reeling off good reasons to buy a Honda, pointing to the car's Kelley Blue Book values, flipping to a photomontage of him posing beside his cars, moving on to a trophy table filled with awards Honda has received, and finally sending viewers to the website for more. A series of :30s, including

Denier, Recording

, and

Pay Attention

, follow the same themes of quality and levity, with Warburton alternately cajoling, teasing and educating the viewer into carefully considering what Honda's lineup offers.

The campaign also includes an iPad-optimized version of the site, and an ambitious YouTube homepage takeover in which Warburton parodies the 15 million-hit video of an overly emotional eHarmony cat lover.

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Credits

Client: Honda

Campaign:

Good Reasons

Launch Date: September 2011

TV

Agency: RPA

EVP, ECD: Joe Baratelli

SVP, GCD: Jason Sperling

Senior Art Director: Hobart Birmingham

Art Director: Cheston Kwan

Art Director: Brian Farkas

Copywriter: Perrin Anderson

Copywriter: Tylynne McCauley

Jr. Copywriter: Josh Hill

SVP, Executive Producer: Gary Paticoff

Senior Producer: Isadora Chesler

Assistant Producer: Faye Armstrong

Live-action/Digital Prod Co.: Tool

Director: Evan Silver

DP: Scott Henriksen

EP(s): Brian Latt, Oliver Fuselier

EP Digital: Dustin Callif

Editorial: The Reel Thing

Editors: Sally Banta, Adam Parker

Executive Producer: Doug Klekner

Music: Mophonics

Telecine: MPC

Colorist: Mark Gethin

INTERACTIVE

EVP, ECD: Joe Baratelli

SVP, GCD: Jason Sperling

Senior Art Director: Hobart Birmingham

Art Director: Cheston Kwan

Art Director: Brian Farkas

Copywriter: Perrin Anderson

Copywriter: Tylynne McCauley

Jr. Copywriter: Josh Hill

SVP, Executive Producer: Gary Paticoff

Senior Producer: Isadora Chesler

Assistant Producer: Faye Armstrong

VP, Program Director: Dave Brezinski

Program Manager: Samira Poulos

Technology Manager: Bradley Stone

Flash Production: Chris Gomez

Live-action/Digital Prod Co.: Tool

Director: Evan Silver

DP: Julian Whatley

EP Digital: Dustin Callif

EP(s): Brian Latt, Oliver Fuselier

About Tool

Bicoastal Tool is an award-winning production company, representing top live-action directors and interactive directors for advertising projects. From funny... visually engaging... and/or interactive, Tool's diverse roster of unique talent creates unforgettable commercial and digital content across all platforms.

More info: TRUST 646 452 3388 (NY) 310 451 5153 (LA) trustcollective.com

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