The Power of Dreams: Honda Super Cub

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Most of us in America think of the golden era of Honda advertising as Grey Advertising’s 1962 breakout, genius campaign You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda. However in 2002, Weiden+Kennedy London understood Honda’s real power rested in its long-standing corporate message Yume No Chikara , or “See one’s dreams.”  In a dazzling display of master class branding, Honda Japan has released a huge inventory older advertisements under the updated moniker The Power of Dreams, with over four decades of older motorcycle campaigns in convenient screensaver size.
The amount of sheer awesomeness is overwhelming, and we’re not just talking about cool old bikes. The ads selected by Honda Japan’s team show an incredible understanding of how to properly create aspirational advertising with elegant simplicity, deftly using color and narrative to build easily recognizable relationships beween people, urban spaces and Honda in everyday life. The result is a body of work that is hugely successful and inspiring.

Every day this week we’ll be featuring a new gallery of images culled from the archives. Today we start with the greatest selling machine of all time, the diminutive Honda Super Cub.


  • will

    I’m really excited, there is no greater image endeavor you folks could conjure. These ads are brilliant and happy, unlike…all modern two-wheeled advertising. Keep spreading the love.

  • amsterdam

    Yeah man,
    Hell for Leather goes
    Soft for Dreams.

    Oh, come on guys.
    Are you serious?
    I know you guys are W&K fans but this is to much.


    • Grant Ray

      Amsterdam, the entire archive of ads are all from Honda Japan. None of the work is W+K London.

      As far as I know, most of these works have never had major, if any exposure outside of the island. I’m guessing the ads were created by more than one agency over the decades working under the Honda Japan guidelines, with the current agency of record cherry picking the best and most cohesive ads, then placing them all under the current moniker.

      If anyone from Japan knows who the current agency is, we’d love to know who they are.

  • chrisF

    Awesome! That’s good clean timeless happiness captured in them little compositions. They make me dream about just cruising around unhurried in a cub, enjoying the simple things in life. A Fireblade in those settings and context won’t stir up the same sort of emotions.. But they’re 2 different worlds, aren’t they? Nothing like a Fireblade!

    By the way, “Yume No Chikara” = Strength/Power of Dream(s).

    Love your work guys, keep it up!


  • thomashenny

    Great ads. Soon, Asians will take over the world like Godzilla on speed and all of our lives will be as blissful as this!

  • James M

    Does anyone know of an online source for the “Come ride with me” Honda commercials circa mid 80s?