Honda, “Grrr”

It’s not often that you see cynical ad mavens shuffling out of the Palais de Festivals in Cannes not only smiling about a commercial but also whistling the jingle. But Honda’s “Grrr”—created by Wieden + Kennedy, London—is a special case. An unlikely mix of cute animals frolicking in a CGI Eden, flying diesel engines and the gravel-on-velvet voice of Garrison Keillor, the spot won a slew of awards in 2005. It gets ours for the best of the decade, period. “Here’s a little song for anyone who’s ever hated, in the key of Grrr,” Keillor begins, as an airborne formation of smoke-spitting diesel engines fly through paradise, sullying the pristine environment and making flowers cough and chickens squawk. “Can hate be good?” Keillor asks—hate obviously referring to old, dirty motors. Fortunately, the flora and fauna mount an attack, destroying the invaders until a clean, quiet (Honda) engine appears. The backing tune—”Hate something, change something”—proves impossible to extricate from your head. The happy, leafy spot has had many imitators since. Nobody’s even come close. —Eleftheria Parpis

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