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Brief Published: 10 Apr 2015

Honda’s Endless Ad

Marking the launch of its 2015 CR-V, Japanese automaker Honda has released the world's first never-ending advertisement on YouTube.

The Endless Road – symbolising the brand's equally endless strive for perfection – is a perfectly looped video sequence of a car winding down a pigtail road. Agency Mcgarrybowen London's execution was inspired by the Droste Effect, a visual effect wherein a picture appears within itself – for instance, a photo of a person holding that same photo, creating a seemingly endless tunnel.

With the ad's moving image, dynamic camera motion makes the optical illusion of the loop possible: the camera pivots 180 degrees around a boulder at the centre, behind which the landscape reappears with each revolution.

Charmingly simple in appearance, Jordi Bares, the technical lead on the production, described the project as "by far the most difficult job I have ever done". The setting is inspired by the Pigtail Bridge in South Dakota in the US, but was recreated as a detailed scale model at Shepperton studios in the UK, and later digitally enhanced.

This is the third time Honda has pushed filmmaking craft within six months. In October 2014, the company sponsored US pop band Ok Go's drone-shot video I Won't let You Down, filmed in a single take. And last November's interactive online ad for its Civic Type R model gave viewers the option to seamlessly switch between night and daytime views of the same – yet wildly different – car journey.

To see the infinite version of The Endless Road, you have to visit the campaign's YouTube page. Here, visitors' geo data is also tracked, so that whenever and wherever you log on, the driving conditions on the winding road will reflect your location's time of day and weather – forever.

For more on this year's developments in filmmaking, see our report Sundance 2015: Key Trends.