Honda 'Problem Playground' from W&K London...



...utterly spanks the pants off Ford's 'Beautifully Arranged' commercial for the new Focus.



First of all, Problem Playground has a great piece of thinking at its heart: the original and rather resonant truth that a job you enjoy doesn't feel like work.

And a truth is always persuasive - I do now actually believe that Honda engineers enjoy solving engineering problems (even though rationally I know these are not the real engineers in the ad but just interesting-looking men with beards).

Meanwhile, the Ford ad contains no 'thinking' at all; it's based purely on a pun - "beautifully arranged". And as this is just a claim rather than a truth, it isn't believable or persuasive.

Then the executions are worlds (or perhaps generations) apart. Honda is fresh, fun, quirky and modern. The Ford ad could have been shot in 1957.

Also one ad is honest and the other isn't. The Honda promises a problem playground and it delivers a problem playground. It's 100% quirky fun out there in that car-park. The Ford ad promises beauty but delivers ugliness. Giselle Bundchen is beautiful. The paintings of Cezanne are beautiful. This Ford ad is not beautiful.

Even the music in the Ford ad is dull as dishwater. Whereas Honda's is ace. So good, in fact, that it may force me to reappraise my allergy to modern jazz.

Perhaps slagging off Ford is too easy. Ditto praising Wieden & Kennedy.

And yet, the sheer size of the gulf between them does tell us something, don't you think?

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