BRAIN FOOD: The Slogan Doctor - Honda: The Power of Dreams

It's the hoariest of journalistic cliches: 'A dream turned into a nightmare...' But isn't that the story of motoring? One minute, we were in an open tourer, bowling along the open road, scattering chickens and pedestrians on our way to some mock-Tudor roadhouse. The next, we're trapped in a tin box, crawling past speed cameras as we approach the congestion charge zone.

by John Morrish
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

No wonder Honda chooses to emphasise dreams rather than reality. The global slogan, adopted in 2001, derives from one of founder Soichiro Honda's sayings: 'One must keep on chasing one's dreams.' It features prominently in every Honda ad and on every billboard. But those tell a different story.

They show fine engineering being used, not to evoke the fantastical visions of the night, but to make routine journeys that little bit more stylish.

Mixed messages and non-specific aspirations rarely hit home. Indeed, a survey in 2003 showed that fewer than 1% of Americans associated the expensively promoted slogan with the Japanese car company. Now what's that thing that happens to dreams?

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