Honda On The Power of Failure

Stuart Elliott of The New York Times takes a look at three brand-sponsored documentaries showing now on Honda’s Power of Dreams microsite.

The webisodes, directed by Derek Cianfrance, are low-key in their promotion of Honda and are polished and absorbing enough to make a viewer (almost) forget they are sponsored shorts, and part of the trend toward branded entertainment.

But in this case, one can’t (almost) forget, because Honda–rightly or wrongly–is at the center of all the stories (as the brand would be in an ad campaign).
Unfortunately, the execution brings these “docs” into infomercial territory. There’s an assumption here that people will want to sit through eight minutes of corporate messaging and that’s where Honda’s content strategy falls down. Eight minutes is a big investment in Web Time. It’s possible to hold someone’s attention for that long on the Web, but only the most compelling content will get the job done.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.