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’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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.