What do you do when the thing that has always set you apart no longer sets you apart?

Honda had spent decades building a reputation as a maker of reliable vehicles. But the world had changed, and the competition had caught up. Meanwhile, inside the walls of Honda HQ was a company many people would never have imagined: a laboratory for relentless tinkerers and restless dreamers, a creative incubator of some of the wildest innovations in engineering history.

For Honda, the answer wasn’t to change: It was to bring the company’s core beliefs to life in a way that created an emotional connection with people. So instead of telling the story the way advertisers would tell it, we crafted the story the way Honda engineers would craft it: starting with a blank sheet of paper.

Using stop-motion animation and roughly 3,000 hand-drawn paper images, “Paper” takes you through six decades of Honda’s incredible history. The experience went even deeper when it debuted on Honda.com — when the film ends, the interactive experience begins and viewers could interact with and learn more about each hand-made vignette and the piece of Honda history it stands for.

The ad won nearly every major industry award out there, and was even nominated for an Emmy. But our favorite compliments came from Honda fans.


Honda Paper

"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, Honda.

“We didn’t do customer research, because we already knew what people would say: Honda makes reliable cars. Instead, we did client research.”

– Nargis Pirani, associate director of strategic planning, RPA.

A lot of work went into bringing this idea to life. Take a peek behind the scenes: