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Honda’s Power of Dreams

Headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Honda Motor Company, Ltd. is a Japanese, public multinational conglomerate manufacturer, of automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft, outboard marine engines, robots, lawnmowers and a variety of power tools and equipment.

Adopted in 2001, Honda’s ‘The Power of Dreams’ advertising theme, was inspired by founder Soichiro Honda’s guiding philosophy that “One must keep on chasing one’s dreams”.

Many of Honda’s most notable advertising communication successes star the crafting talents of illustrators, animators, model makers, installation designers, motion graphics and special effects directors, that help bring the ‘power of dreams’ to innovative life.

Their featured artistry in effective filmmaking of visual storytelling, can be seen in many of Honda’s brand and corporate advertising commercials.

1. Honda-E, Not A Prototype

Advertising Agencies: Sid Lee, Paris, France, and Hakuhodo, Frankfurt, Germany

The all-new electric Honda-E advertising campaign, is not about showcasing a prototype vehicle that will never enter assembly-line production. It’s a dream come true.

The Sid Lee website describes the Honda-E as; “a car designed from a blank page. It represents the power of believing, the importance of challenging conventions, and the beauty of dreams becoming reality.

Directed by filmmaker Johnny Green, the storyline of the cinematic launch-film was aptly described on the ‘Best Ads’ website as; “fluid as the car itself, with full-screen imagery that highlights the details and the new model’s story.

The soundtrack features a rework by French electronic music producer Para One, of “Girlhood” from the French coming-of-age drama film directed by Céline Sciamma.
 2. Honda, Origin of Determination

Advertising Agency: RPA (Rubin Postaer and Associates), Santa Monica, California, USA

Directed by filmmaker Paul Mitchell, ‘Origin of Determination’ is a fast-paced epic of Honda’s innovative product progression spanning 73 years.

The collage of photographs, computer graphics, and integrated live-action scenes, are masterly and make for highly impressive viewing.

3. Honda, Dream Maker

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, London, UK

‘Dream Maker’ is a collage of ‘behind-the-scenes’ film clips of Honda’s filmmaking sponsorships for TV Movie Channels.

On ‘The Drum’ website, Carlos Alija and Laura Sampedro, creative directors at Wieden+Kennedy London, explained the rationale behind the commercial’s creative tribute.

The best Honda ads often overcome some kind of challenge in the craft and the storytelling that reflects the ingenuity of the brand. There’s crazy technology involved in making a film or a Honda nowadays, but it’s ultimately the warmth of the human touch that makes them achieve excellence”.

4. Honda, Paper

Advertising Agency: RPA (Rubin Postaer and Associates), Los Angeles, USA

Honda ‘Paper’, directed by Adam Pesapane, the Oscar and Emmy-nominated American Film Director and stop-motion animator, known as PES, took months to make.

It involved three thousand hand-drawn illustrations by various artists to illustrate the Honda Corporation’s evolutionary progression of producing power products, and its famed motorcycles, that started with founder Soichiro Honda’s inventive use of a radio generator to power his wife’s bicycle.

The commercial accrued numerous advertising industry awards which included the following edited list:

Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial of The Year
Cannes Gold Lion for Design/Animation
AICP Show Gold for Animation
D&AD Awards Graphite Pencil for Animation
The One Show Gold for Animation
Andy Awards Gold for Animation
ADDY Awards “Best in Show”
The One Show ‘Automotive Advertising of the Year’ Award

And In 2016, ‘Honda Paper’ was selected by The Louvre Museum of Advertising for inclusion in their permanent collection, and also chosen by New York’s Museum of Modern Art for their permanent collection.

5. Honda Racing, Powered by Formula1

Advertising Agency: Digitas, London, UK

Motion Design and Special Effects Studio, Mainframe, London, UK

Animated by 3D Artists Jonathan May, Diogo Garmatter and Richard Payne, the commercial features Honda-powered lawn mowers, automotive, maritime, and aeronautical engineered products, racing against each other.

The integrated TV and online campaign highlights Honda’s leading role in Formula One Racing, championship successes, and their partnership with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

The fast-paced animation transformations are masterly crafted and a delight to view.

6. Honda, Hands

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, London, UK

Directed by filmmakers Smith and Foulkes, Honda’s ‘Hands’ commercial, inspired by Hasbro’s Transformer toy line, celebrates the Honda Company’s 65 years of brand innovation and the inventive curiosity of its engineers and industrial designers.

The commercial which is informative, amusing and engaging to watch, motivated over 6 million online views and won a One Show Advertising Awards Gold Pencil for Film Direction, another Gold Pencil in the Consumer Television category, and a Silver for Cinema Advertising.

7. Honda Accord, The Cog

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, London, UK

Directed by filmmaker Antoine Bardou-Jacquet, the Accord ‘Cog’ commercial is regarded as one of the most groundbreaking and influential of recent years.

The Rube Goldberg inspired installation, took 606 film takes before the perfect chain reaction outcome was finally achieved in one continuous take, and without the use of post-production computer manipulation.

The ‘Cog’ motivated 55,000 visits a week to Honda’s website, with a resultant increase in sales totalling 400 million pounds Sterling.

It also received more awards internationally than any commercial in the history of automotive Advertising Communication.

8. Honda Diesel CTDi, Grrr

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, London, UK

Directed by Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes at Nexus Productions, this classic commercial that launched Honda’s CTDi Diesel engines in the UK, saw their overall sales results increase by 35%. For Honda this was a dream result in a highly completive automotive market.

With a soundtrack by Garrison Keillor singing “Hate Something Change Something” providing the narrative theme, the ‘Grrr’ commercial was the most-awarded campaign of 2005 and won a Cannes International Festival of Creativity Film Grand Prix.

ADWEEK Magazine lauded the commercial as ‘the overall ad of the decade’ in 2009.