Honda Impossible Dream Sung by Andy Williams

Honda ‘Impossible Dream’ was launched on December 2, 2005, a panoramic 2 minute television commercial featuring British actor Simon Day riding and driving on the roads and waterways of New Zealand. We start at the coast, with a gull on a fishing boat. A vintage record player starts playing a single, “The Power of Dreams”. A hand reaches out for a jacket and crash helmet. Gulls fly around the rocks as our rider comes out of his caravan. “To dream the impossible dream”, he sings. He starts up his monkey bike. “To fight the unbeatable foe.” As he comes around the corner Day is riding a Super Cub scooter, chased by sheep dogs. “To bear with unbearable sorrow”. He rides past sheep horses and windswept trees. “To run where the brave dare not go.” Now he’s riding a four-wheeler ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) along a beach. “To right the unrightable wrong”.

Simon Day on Honda in Impossible Dream TV Ad


Simon’s now in a S500 red sports car driving up the coast road. “To love pure and chaste from afar”. He rides through a small village on a Goldwing superbike. “To try when your arms are too weary”. Now he’s heading into the mountains on his Fireblade racing bike. “To reach the unreachable star”. He tears up a gravel road in an S2000 car. F1 vintage car. “This is my quest”. “To follow that star, no matter how hopeless”. Now the white NSX sports car cruises along beside a river channel. “No matter how far.” He climbs the hill on his TT Bike. “To fight for the right.”

Now our driver’s changing from a sixties car to a 1980s Formula 1 racing car which morphs into a vintage version. “Without question or pause, to be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause.” He zooms across a lake in a powerboat. “And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest…” He glides over the edge of a massive waterfall. A pause in the music. (See next paragraph for the mising lyrics). A hot air balloon ascends out of the spume of the waterfall. “To reach the unreachable star.”

Garrison Keillor’s voice: “I couldn’t have put it better myself.” HONDA – The Power of Dreams. thepowerofdreams.com

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)

The missing lyrics:
That my heart will be peaceful and calm
when I’m laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this,
that one man scorned and covered with scars
still strove with his last ounce of courage.

Honda Balloon rises over Iguassu Falls, Brazil

The web site features all the vehicles used in the 2 minute TV ad, providing swf video clips and background trivia. Viewers are invited to enter a competition for a ballooning holiday in New Zealand.

On the website we learn the significance of the flying wing on the Honda motorbike. Mr Soichiro Honda’s dream was to fly. He hoped one day to build a jet plane but died before seeing that dream come to fruition. The first Honda motorbike was nicknamed ‘The Dream’. In 2004 Honda announced its plans to produce a small jet. Click on the hot air balloon (on the Honda web site) for more information.

Credits

The brand campaign was developed by advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy London, by creative directors/creatives Kim Papworth, Chris Groom, Tony Davidson, Sean Thompson, and agency producer Julia Methold.

Filming was shot by director Ivan Zacharias via Stink, London, with producer Nick Landon and director of photography Jan Velicky.

Editor was Filip Malasek, from Czech film editing company Robota.

Post production was done at The Mill, London under the oversight of producer Helen Hughes and Seamus O’Kane. Other staff included Lead Flame Barnsley, Flame Adam Grint, Flame Assistants Neil Davies, Richard Betts, Support Gareth Brennan, Paul Wilmot, with CG by Chris Rabet, Eva Maria Kuehlmann, Rob Petrie, Sam Kim and Kay Pfingston. Take a look at the detail provided by the Mill team – seagulls by the dozen, buntings on the road in the racing shots, and the transfer of Day’s singing face into the jet boat and racing cars.

Sound was produced at Wave Studios by Johnnie Burn, sound engineer Jack Sedgwick, and bite engineer Ashley Smith. Music was edited by Music Mill, Sydney.

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)

Impossible Dream Music

The music for the TV ad is Andy Williams singing “Impossible Dream (The Quest)”, found in his album, “16 Most Requested Songs”. The song was written by Joe Darian for the Don Quixote musical, “Man of La Mancha”. Darion won the 1965/66 Tony award for best lyrics of the Broadway season.

Purchase the Andy Williams album at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com, or download the track at iTunes.

The Impossible Dream – 16 Most Requested Songs: Andy Williams on iTunes

Andy Williams

Impossible Dream star is Simon Day, British actor, singer and playwright. Not the Simon Day who stars in British comedy, Grass – apologies for the mix up Simon and Simon. Simon Day wasn’t in the powerboat or Formula One cars. He was filmed lip syncing in a remote field in New Zealand and added later to those shots at The Mill.

See my June 21 2006 post on the English Patriotism version, developed at the Mill in time for the England/Sweden match in the FIFA World Cup.

See also the 2010 Extended Version in which a Honda jet replaces the hot air balloon, leading to 30 seconds extra footage.

  • http://www.kiwiballooncompany.co.nz Andrew

    I think Honda has a great ad. Our company provied the hot air balloon in the commercial, which has been doctored. It was filmed just outside Twizel in New Zealand on the same site as the final battle scene was filmed in ‘Lord of the Rings’. It was 2 days work for the few seconds shown, and no I didn’t fly the balloon out of the waterfall.
    I was wondering whether anyone knew where you can get the DVD of the ‘making of’ of the commercial? I believe it was going to go to the Honda dealers in the UK. If anyone knows how I could get a copy, it would be greatly appreciated. Our website is http://www.kiwiballooncompany.co.nz

    Thanks.

    • E bankier

      Hi I have just viewed the “making of the Honda advert”
      log on toyou tube .com and type in The impossible Dream and amongst the list of singers find the making of the Honda ad.

      Regards.

  • Susan

    Loved this advert so much – was watchin it nearly everyday on the Honda website – but then they removed it – devastated – but lovely Honda provided me with my very own copy – what service. And that Simon Day – horny – if your single Simon ?

  • Anon.

    Thank you very much.
    you may have just saved my life.
    I needed background info. on the advert for my English media coursework and you’ve provided everything i need.
    Thank you

  • Chris

    Yeah absolute quality advert, one of the best. I’m still singing it and its now 2007!!! Inspirational.

  • Chris

    Oh aye, and here’s a download link.

    http://www.hondauk-media.co.uk/protected/?p=108

  • http://mygamereviews.googlepages.com Richard

    The most amazing advert ever! Truly a tv inspiration!

  • Dave

    Why was this just shown in Australia? One of the best

  • danny

    I wholeheartedly agree with all above comments-I still get goosebumps when I replay!!!Can’t wait to take my bike out to the country and sing me head off to it…..

  • Beverley Houlding

    Pleas tell me if I could get copy of IMPOSSIBLE
    ADD. my email is kiwibev@bigpond.com

    Wonderful ad just tops.

  • Nik

    What a great advert! Love the shot of the motorcycle flying along the road under dense tree coverage, it really is spectacular!

  • Sarndra

    Can anyone tell me if the add was done on the East Coast of the South Island ?

    Great Add

  • Someone

    Excellently done ad. It has to go down as one of the greats.

  • http://theinspirationroom.com/daily Duncan

    I believe that the ad includes footage on the Catlins (East Coast, South Island), as well as Ohai and Queenstown.

  • colin

    Just wanted to know where abouts in NZ the ad was filmed ….. have been there recently and was totally blown away with the country side and the people . fantastic ad !!

  • Brad

    Just wondering about Garrison Keilors final comment “I couldn’t have put it better myself” Was this to make the ad appeal to an American audience too? He is well known there but not so well known outside the USA.

  • CNash

    Keillor provides the voice-overs for almost all of Honda’s other ads in the UK; he usually talks over some moving images, explaining the concepts of Honda’s ads, or in a few cases (like this and “Cog”) just adding a tagline at the end. In this ad, he’s saying that he doesn’t need to explain anything to the audience this time – the song, and the visuals, have said it better than he ever could.

    As for American appeal – Kellior is the established voice of Honda’s UK ads, so he’s not just added in for the benefits of Americans. In fact, I believe he provided his voice for a rival car company’s ads in the US!

  • Emmanuel

    One of the best ads I’ve seen in a very long time really well done, think it was awesome. I listen to it everyday love the song very good give it a 10/10 GO HONDA!

  • kevin

    Best ad I’ve ever seen and I’m 57
    Good stuff Honda

  • Letsgo

    Still enjoy playing the video. And I’m 66

    Superb

  • Jewel

    Who is doing the voiceover at the end of the Australian Version as I know it’s not Garrison Keillor?

  • Richard

    The opening sequence was filmed at a place called Cosy Nook near Invercargill on the S Coast of NZ

  • ryan

    Saw the add last night, hadnt seen it in ages, people were saying honda sent them copies of the adds on dvd? im in australia so where do i go to get one? love it!

  • http://Honda ‘Caps

    Add was just on tv so I had to get on net because I seen my old home town ‘Nightcaps’. Great add.

  • Horacio Cambeiro

    THE IGUAZU FALLS IN ARGENTINA… AMAZING!!!

  • http://www.thecarconnection.com/make/honda Honda

    Thats a great post on the honda. Thanks!

  • Ian Porter

    The quote at the end of the advert: “I couldn’t have put it better myself” is by Garrison Keillor

  • Bernie

    Really enjoyed the Honda Advert and hearing the Andy Williams single again.

    Where is the beach house with the hot tub as featured at the end – is this in New Zealand as well?

    Does anyone out there no the location please.

  • Mindy

    Wow what an advert. The music, acting everything was just perfect. Was this also an ad for New Zealand tourist board? if not they owe you big time.

  • kim newburn

    just brilliant