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December 05, 2005
Honda, The Impossible Dream

On TV there is still room for brand advertising. The Impossible Dream, a great ad created by Wieden + Kennedy for Honda, clearly shows there is still life after the 30" spot.


Comments on this entry

I'm sorry, but I don't get it. Why do all those hot brands with hot agencies and hot directors try to be hot by executing an "ok but not great" idea with an exuberant budget? There's more in life than production value (this commercial together with the second one cost 4,5 million euro!).
If it'll win in Cannes, the only reason is that it has Honda in the end. The same counts for Playstation's Pace of Life, Xbox360's 3 Joy/Waterballoons/Ropeskipping, Motorola's Pebl etc. The only recent commercial that is well produced and that has a good idea at the start is the new Peugeot ad. Have a look at

Posted by: Matthias at December 5, 2005 05:28 PM


So, life after the 30" spot is a 1 minute spot that bores halfway?

Posted by: olGrrr at December 6, 2005 11:46 AM


You have to know something about Honda to "get" this ad. It tells Soichiro Honda's life story symbolically...and it is utterly brilliant. As such, it is the ebst commercial I have ever seen:
-Soichiro Honda the outsider... the guy living in a trailer by the sea, an outsider.
-Soichiro the grease monkey...this guy looks like a grease monkey.
-The seagull in a nest tending to it's young...His dream in the earliest stages.
-Two Seagulls on the rock....Soichiro and Takeo Fujisawa (Honda's alter-ego)
-He begins his journey with a simple mini-bike...symbolic of the Honda Cub.
-The dogs chasing him as he sings "to fight the unbeatable foe"... the resistance that dogged him from MITI (Ministry of International Trade and Industry) and the Gakubatsu (Japanese old Boys network).
-The sheep moving together as a group... the Japanese culture of group over the individual. Meanwhile, he motors on by in the background on his individual journey past the group. Two horses overlooking the field in the background-...I haven't figured this part out yet.
-The succession of cars and bikes as they progress through advances in developement.
-The boat flying off the waterfall...his death.
-The balloon rising out of the mist, with him singing "to reach for the unreachable stars"...on his way to heaven and still dreaming. A Very Happy ending.
-Underlying the entire commercial is the humor of this guy singing like Andy Williams as he blasts down the road. Honda had a great sense of humor.

Posted by: Mike at December 13, 2005 01:13 PM


Absolutely brilliant.The life(and death)story of Mister Honda himself.
Somebody re-release this record into the market.A nailed on No.1...CLASS.

Posted by: Harvey Shearer at December 15, 2005 10:47 AM


Quite simply perfection. This is an amazing commercial which works on so many levels. It's funny, touching beautiful and inspirational. You can almost see the storyboards for this ad as you watch it, it's just so beautifully thought out and executed。 I love the sense of individuality that this ad manages to capture.It's a masterpiece.

Posted by: steve bridgeman at December 16, 2005 07:57 PM


Pure magic

Posted by: John Stones at December 18, 2005 03:06 PM


But why the number 7 race number Mike?

Posted by: Tony Rigby at December 18, 2005 08:09 PM


A small point, but are you sure that it's Andy Williams hammering out 'Impossible Dream'?

Posted by: Rip Gill at December 19, 2005 03:46 PM


Such a nice commercial. I haven't replayed one this many times in a while.

Posted by: Dr Quality at December 20, 2005 02:06 AM


This advert is brilliant. The song seems to be made for what they show on screen. Great song too so even if you don't like the advert, you will like the song.

Posted by: Grimgor at December 20, 2005 05:05 PM


This has got to be the best ad i've seen in ages showing the life of Honda, it's in my favourites shame i can't find anywhere to download it. Also want to know if it's Andy Williams, damn good soundalike if not

Posted by: Nethost at December 21, 2005 10:18 AM


But why the number 7 race number Mike?

The Isle of man tt race, the bikes number was 7

Posted by: Nethost at December 21, 2005 10:49 AM


Who's rendition of the song 'The Impossible Dream' is this?

Posted by: h at December 22, 2005 03:48 PM


Does anybody know who's version of 'The Impossible Dream' is actually being used in the commercial?

Posted by: H at December 22, 2005 03:51 PM


for all you doubting Thomas's, yes it is Andy williams singing The Impossible Dream. It is an original recording, done by him in the 1970's I have the original album.
I hope it is re-released on single.

Posted by: eileen at December 22, 2005 06:56 PM


Just an error in the advert... when he shift gear, you see all the other instruments at zero! :D

I thought he was on full speed!

Wicked advert anyway... I really want to get a sport car even more now!

Posted by: Denis R at December 23, 2005 01:58 PM


who is the actor its driving me mad love the advert

Posted by: mal at December 24, 2005 11:19 PM


Wow Mike you're a bit of a scholar aren't you ;-).
You've analyzed that advert to the last detail.
Well done :-).
In my opinion this is a inspirational ad.
I need to see more of these sort of ads on tv.
Maybe next one should be a metaphor of the life of Bill Gates LOL.
Btw Merry Xmas ;).

Posted by: nik at December 25, 2005 01:51 AM


What a beautiful advert on so many levels, its my Christmas anthem and its pefect!

Now to buy the Impossible Dream

Posted by: Shahid at December 25, 2005 11:11 PM


What are the last words in this spot? "I couldn't have put a better ..."? I didn't get that. Thanks.

Posted by: Noobie at December 26, 2005 03:21 PM


Wonder what you think about the Guinness "Rhythm of Life" spot?

Posted by: Roger at December 27, 2005 03:55 PM


Who is the dude who is doing all the riding.
Great moustache by the way

Posted by: Glo at December 27, 2005 04:49 PM


anyone know where to get the track from??

Posted by: Mexxx at December 27, 2005 07:22 PM



Posted by: andrew ewing at December 30, 2005 08:14 AM



Posted by: andrew ewing at December 30, 2005 08:17 AM


Notes about the ad and the actor are on Honda's website - Simon Day was the actor and Steve (I think) Curtis did the powerboat but they digitally replaced his head with Simon's. Boat will be on show at the London Boat Show next year.

Posted by: P Warren at December 30, 2005 12:37 PM


Andrew do you mean download the whole ad? if so it's here
be quick though other sites are taking it down probably due to bandwidth use.

Posted by: nethost at December 31, 2005 11:47 AM


its a nice ad and possesses the feel good factor that is probably the remit from the client brief.lovely entertainment.

however, the 10" cutdown is very poor.

honda have been hoodwinked by wieden and kennedy for quite some time now. the cog ad is good entertainment but the idea is not original the original idea came from an art exhibition.

this ad is too long, the central idea can be whittled into 40" the result is pure indulgance.

if i were the CEO of Honda i'd sack the Marketing director ASAP as the marketing director and replace with someone who is interested in selling cars and not making sexy ads.

Posted by: mehboob umarji at January 5, 2006 08:36 PM


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