DDB Paris’ campaign for the Honda Monkey motorbike has a delightful story behind it. Whether or not you know that story, the campaign will give you all of those warm and wonderful feelings about Honda – assuming you can laugh at yourself.
Here’s that story:
In 1961, Honda decided to make a mini-motorcycle designed to delight children in a Japanese amusement park. Fun and user-friendly, children loved the concept as they just had to turn the accelerator handle to make headway and enjoy a ride on the merry-go-round to which the motorcycles were firmly attached.
But adults quickly adopted this new toy and liked the ground-breaking ride. People were entirely comfortable with the childishness of it.
“The Monkey turned out to be so popular that a version approved for roads was swiftly developed,” Honda stated.
That was how Monkeys were brought to the market, with a name simply inspired by the monkey-like shape adults take on when riding the vehicle.
“Its popularity came from both its design and seductive shapes, its compact dimensions and its light weight – qualities that provide immediate driving pleasure,” Honda added.
For fifty years, Monkey forged its reputation, finding a place in the hearts of millions of people worldwide. It even became one of the most emblematic two-wheelers and a symbol of popular culture (John Lennon’s Honda recently fetched over 30,000 pound sterling in an auction).
So when Honda officially announced it would be launching a new Monkey to celebrate fifty years of the icon, DDB Paris decided that it was vital to get back to basics – why it was first created and what it was designed for…which the agency has done with wit, charm and a standout visual style in a poster and print campaign.
Creative Agency: DDB Paris
Executive Creative Director: Alexander Kalchev
Creative Directors: Alexis Benbehe & Pierre Mathonat
Art Directors: Shad Bharucha & Nicolas Denis
Copywriters: Patrice Dumas & Jean-Christophe Royer
Agency Supervisors: Eric Hazout, Arthur Piaulet & Victor Roger
Planner: Claude-Henri Galbois
Client: Honda Motors
Client Supervisors: Sebastien Pernel, Valérie Larousse & Laura Heinmann