IPA Effectiveness Awards 2004: Gold Award - The John Bartle Award (Best New Agency) - Sponsored by Bartle Bogle Hegarty


Campaign: The Power Of Dreams

Client: Honda (UK)

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy

Principal author: Stuart Smith, Wieden & Kennedy

Media used: TV, interactive, direct marketing, viral, print, PR, cinema,

press, outdoor, radio, ambient


The quality of its cars has never been an issue for Honda. But its brand has long let it down. Powerful motorbikes or cheap cars driven by doddery old ladies? Consumers were unfamiliar with what Honda does and what it stands for.

That was 2002. Two years later, Honda has grown its sales by 28 per cent and revenues are up by £388 million.

What began with a rather cheesy corporate slogan inherited from Japan has grown into one of the most memorable integrated advertising campaigns in recent years. "The Power of Dreams" slogan was at the heart of the idea: to celebrate the values of the company's creator, Soichiro Honda.

But it wasn't all blockbuster commercials from the outset. Honda's agencies - collectively dubbed "the dream factory" - channelled the idea through a rich diversity of media, plus some new ones of their own. Honda became the first advertiser to run a TV ad in the press by publishing DVDs of the making of its unforgettable "cog" commercial.

The judges' view

This entertainingly written case describes how Honda's brave approach succeeded in growing sales by almost a third and delivering an incremental £84 million in profit. The style of the paper is as original as the campaign itself. In a market littered with launches and product news, Honda decided to inspire people about their belief in "The Power of Dreams". They did so in a multitude of ways and places from 120-second TV ads to posters to an installation in Selfridges to DVDs.

The paper shows that the idea became more powerful when people were exposed to it both above and below the line. Beyond the sales of new cars, this paper looks at the positive impact the campaign has had on dealers, staff turnover, current owners and even used cars.


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