Honda Likens Its Engineering to a Thrilling Rock Climb in This Eye-Popping Civic Ad

Scaling new heights with Imogen Horrocks

The new Honda Civic isn’t just a car. It’s a gorgeous towering sandstone formation. At least, the daring engineering that went into designing it is akin to free-climbing a giant cliff, promises a new U.K. ad from Wieden + Kennedy London.

A young woman—British climber Imogen Horrocks—starts on a ladder up the rock face, before quickly choosing to jump from that moderately reasonable ascent to continue scaling without ropes or other equipment, in a romper.

The metaphor here is that the new Civic is more than a mere iteration of the old one. Or as Honda says, “it is truly distinctive from it’s predecessors, inside and out.”

The real joys of the ad, though, are the stunning visuals, with soaring natural landscapes and vertigo-inducing drops—even if the obvious green-screening renders the hero’s near-death moments and dangling feet less dramatic than the ad’s creators might like.

In other words, what the 1:30 ad lacks in emotional and informational heft, it makes up for with eye candy. (The director was Pedro Martín-Calero of Colonel Blimp.)

And it has a timely rollout, too. Just this past weekend, American teenager Margo Hayes, 19, became the first woman to scale a 5.15 route, the toughest in rock climbing. If they’re smart, Honda should give her a Civic.