Difficult is worth doing as Honda pulls off live skydiving ad on Channel 4

In keeping with the brand's positioning Honda's skydiving team made history when they they leapt from 14,000 feet over Spain in a live ad on Channel 4.

The ad, the culmination of a series of teaser ads, was shown during the break of Come Dine With Me on Channel 4, and was introduced by a voiceover and an on-screen prompt. 3 minutes and 20 seconds of nail-biting action later, the team had successfully spelt out the brand name during their plummeting trip earthwards.

A huge technical achievement, Channel 4 said the ad break drew an average of 2.2m individual viewers; it began with 2.1m viewers at 20.10pm and ended with 2.3m viewers at 20.13pm. The broadcaster estimates the audience for the ad grew by 8% during its live transmission.

This event advert introduced Honda's new multi-million pound ad campaign, featuring 45 skydivers promoting the Honda Accord by creating a series of shapes over the Mojave desert to reflect new features on the car.

Channel 4's sales director, Andy Barnes said the ad, which required special dispensation from the BACC, broke "the boundaries of the perceived confines of TV advertising. We wanted to create something unmissable and what better way to produce something 'must see' than to stage the first live ad event on TV. It's about creating talkability on a big scale, managing the risk and being seen as pioneers for it."

More people are watching television than ever before. But things are becoming more complicated. People have to want to watch something, you can't force them. People will navigate towards the good stuff and ignore the bad stuff

Ian Armstrong, marketing manager of Honda UK

The stunt was created by Channel 4's in-house creative team 4creative, with support from ad agency Wieden & Kennedy and media agency Starcom.

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