Content Highlight of the Week: Honda's Other Side


This week's highlight is an interactive film from Honda to showcase their Type R, the racy 'other side' of the more conventional and utterly civilised Honda Civic (indeed, the Civic is a car you can trust, see 3.25 for choral corroboration).

This split personality is neatly conveyed through a dual narrative, between which viewers can switch simply by typing the letter R on the keyboard (Type R, geddit?!? Type R!!). Typing R switches you from a dad's sedate family ride with the kids to his night-time journey on the very same route. But at night we see his "other side" - he's an ice cool getaway driver for a gang of precious-Egyptian-cat-statue-thieving baddies, who, it should be highlighted, must be a pretty dim bunch to trust a getaway driver in a shiny, new, bright red hot-hatch. Yeah, that'll really blend into the crowd won't it? Any fool know that you want a C reg grey Vauxhall Astra on a getaway job. Er, anyway, clearly Honda don't want to endorse the theft of ancient artefacts, so there's a decent moral twist at the end which I won't spoil.

Most importantly, the double-sided narrative is very cleverly filmed, meaning much fun can be had bashing R on off to see almost identical shots by night and day with different sounds and characters. Our only criticism is that the night drive could have had a bit more in the way of thrills, spills and jeopardy. For all the noisy engine sound effects, Getaway Driver Dad cruises along at pretty much the same speed as Happy Family Dad in his regular Civic. Aside from a swerve round an oncoming car, this ain't exactly Bullitt or The Fast and the Furious. Perhaps some sort of checkpoint inspection could have added a note of tension here without burning up too much cash on the stunts? That's the sort of canny narrative trick that never fails to grip us in a film or TV show. But sadly it's lacking here. W+K London clearly came up with a good story for the Type R, they just needed to tell it a little better. And that's so often a recurring theme with ad agencies and content ideas...