This quote formed part of the F1 exhibition I saw last weekend. It reminded me what a top chap Soichiro Honda was. Having spent a number of years working on the Honda account you get used to reading about him, but it's a great story of bloody mindedness, engineering prowess and cheap dentistry. read more here. In the first few years after W+K won the business. A number of quotes were used on large banners at the motorshows of '02/03. The cavernous NEC was full of bombastic corporate over statement, and here was a brand (the former Eastbourne chariot) trying to shake off its past by introducing the thoughts of a man exposing failure as a means to succeed. Outside of sports cars (Colin Chapman, Enzo Ferrari) passionate single personalities are not felt within modern automotive brands. Recent Honda films both broadcast and online make Soichiro's influence and achievements much easier to understand.
When we pitched for and won the Honda DM business ('02), I used an anecdote about the Honda's first F1 car the RA272, and how as a child I had lusted after the Tamiya kit of it, I knew it was different I just didn't know why. It took awhile to 'get' Honda in the way W+K did, but when I did it was like unlocking the mystery of my childhood fascination. Direct mail gave us the wonderful opportunity to explain the legacy of Soichiro. In doing so we avoided making bland models* sexy and grey plastic interiors* desirable. We extended the themes W+K had begun but completed the story with invitations to visit a local dealer. This fab recent piece encouraged owners of older Honda's to return to main dealers.
** New models like the Civic address this.