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Posts Tagged ‘Tyler Hampton’

VB&P, Audi Chase the White Whale in ‘Ahab Redux’

In 2012, a creative director fell into Herman Melville’s 720-page trap and reimagined Ahab as a tow truck driver, madly chasing his white whale, an Audi Quattro. “Sometimes, I actually think it’s mocking me,” Ahab says in a gruff voice, anxiously twisting his thermos as he waits in the arctic tundra.

Said creative director then got distracted by Cetology, but has now resurfaced to produce “Ahab Redux,” in which, obviously, our automotive whale has yet to meet his driver. Ahab has retired on an island “most folks would call paradise,” but he can’t escape his all-wheel drive demon. “There isn’t a road on earth that can stop it.”

Thankfully this ad is a departure from the old winding-mountain-road glamour reel, and I appreciate the attempt at literary allusion. We’re all familiar with Moby Dick, whether we became obsessed like Ahab or SparkNoted its entirety. “Ahab Redux” is a bit of a cop-out due to its repetition, but the general idea probably gives Audi’s target affluent audience a twinge of self-satisfaction: “Oh, I know that story!”

Credits and original Ahab after the jump Read more

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Audi Shows Us How ‘It Couldn’t Be Done’ Got Done

Audi has been busy lately, pumping out ads for their newest cars in sponsorship deals with Iron Man while simultaneously pitting past and present versions of Spock against each other. The automaker seems to be at it again, now with longtime agency Venables Bell & Partners, for a 60-second spot that traces back to the origin of the company. Retro footage of Audi’s founder, August Horch, and old-school automobiles plays for most of the spot, set to narration of the children’s poem It Couldn’t Be Done, written by Edgar Albert Guest. I guess Dr. Suess was busy.

By design, most of the commercial feels like it belongs to pre-1980, but the dissonance of the kid’s poem and the speeding-car shots strikes a cool chord. While previous car spots may be clever or topical when full of movie stars, this one stands out in a good way. It’s smooth and engaging, presumably, like a ride in a new Audi. Credits and a couple of :15 second spots after the jump.

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Audi, Iron Man Try to Make Commuting Sexier Than It Really Is

This 30-second spot, produced by Venables Bell & Partners, attempts to show the audience how billionaire superheroes commute to work. The average worker takes the bus, the train, maybe drives an average car. Tony Stark drives an Audi R8 supercar. Of course, he could also just commute in his Iron Man suit, which would make the R8 seem irrelevant, but that wouldn’t be very good Audi product placement.

You’ve seen this type of spiel before: “It’s never a bad day at work when your commute looks like this.” I’ve never been a fan of this pitch to consumers. After enough time, a car becomes a car. And if your job still sucks, if you have that pontificating boss, or you work till 9 p.m., going home in an R8 won’t stop you from hating a job (but it might help you attract women). And with a minimum MSRP of $114,000 on last year’s model, you’ll most likely hate your bank account afterward, too. But at least it looks cool, right? Credits after the jump.

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Audi’s Super Bowl Spot: Let’s Get Some Ass at Prom!

Audi and VB+P are traditionally all about appealing to consumers’ inner-adolescent with their Super Bowl ads. Remember when vampires were a big deal? Audi remembered, so they put vampires in their Super Bowl spot last year. However, as the Twilight film series has ended, Audi and VB+P are telling a bit more of a timeless story with this year’s installment, “Prom (Worth It).”

We open on a classic American pastime, a young lad about to go to prom who, judging by his lack of date, is a loser. His dad, in a surprising move, allows him to take his sleek Audi A6 to the big dance. This isn’t the only unrealistic part of the spot, as the boy ends up making out with his crush and getting a shiner from her boyfriend. It’s not exactly the kind of bold move I support, especially as the boy doesn’t seem to ask permission from his female victim. But, according to Audi, who cares? He took what he wanted, and was rewarded. There’s nothing more American than that.

The campaign, which uses the #BraveryWins hashtag, doesn’t seem to be targeting suburban high-schoolers like the protagonist in “Prom,” and instead aims at fathers who are fearful that their spawn may never get any action. In any case, it’s cute enough to be a crowd-pleaser, but I hesitate to think that this will be one of the Super Bowl’s most talked-about ads. Credits after the jump.

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The Audi S8 Will Make Pedestrians Suspect You’re a Criminal

Debuting tonight during the Giants vs. Cowboys NFL season kickoff, the above 60-second spot from Venables Bell & Partners titled “Suspect” marks the first time Audi is introducing its full line of S models to the U.S.

Despite the YouTube commentariat noting that the S8 is too overweight to be race-engineered, an accusation that sounds plausible though I am too unfamiliar with racing to confirm or deny the validity of it, Audi has selected the campaign tagline “Heighten Every Moment” to describe the intensity that waiting in your car for your girlfriend to pickup coffee will undoubtedly provide. Yes, most passerby will assume you stole the S8, and may have your sights set on that armored car as well. Just don’t be a minority driving the S8 (especially in Arizona), or you’ll most likely be shot by a rent-a-cop with a transistor radio.

Audi is also pleased to announce today that it will be returning to Super Bowl advertising for the sixth consecutive year in early 2013. Watch this year’s spot, “Vampire Party,” here and view credits for “Suspect” after the jump.

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eBay’s New Mobile App Will Keep You Fashionable

“Mom jeans” are pretty bad, but as a young man frightened of losing all fashion sense with age, I have to say that I am personally more terrified of finding myself wearing a pair of dreaded “dad shorts.” At what average age do you think most women start hiking up their baggy pants as high as possible and most men think the that world wants to see their hairy thighs?

In Venables Bell & Partners’ first work for eBay, the San Francisco agency is introducing the online store’s new app for impulse shopping. The “When it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay” campaign debuts tonight with three spots from VB&P, each showing someone trying to keep up with today’s trends by instantly purchasing products from eBay. Says VB&P co-founder and ECD Paul Venables: “When the company that revolutionized how people shop asks you to do something big and new, you get excited. For this campaign, we tapped into the psyche of passionate shoppers and then demonstrated why eBay is the answer.”

In the announce, VB&G cites a statistic that says 60 percent of fashion enthusiasts and 65 percent of electronics enthusiasts own smartphones, compared to less than 30 percent of the general public. See two spots (one featuring an impulse fashion purchase and one featuring an impulse electronics purchase)  and credits after the jump

 

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Intel’s ‘The Chase’ Integrated into Facebook

Back in January, when Osama Bin Laden remained at large and Packers had not yet won the Super Bowl, we posted a video from Intel called “The Chase,” which advertised the new Intel Core i5 processor. At two minutes long, “The Chase” did that whole movie in computer windows and different online mediums, similar to the Arcade Fire’s interactive music video for “The Suburbs.”

This time around, “The Chase” (which garnered over 2.5 million views on YouTube) is being integrated into Facebook complete with a new game, character profiles and all sort of extra downloadable goodies. Unfortunately (as I learned attempting to run the programs on a MacBook Air), you pretty much need to own a computer with an Intel Core i5, unless you’d like “The Chase” to slow your computer to a slow crawl. With the help of a MacBook Pro (which utilizes an Intel Core i5 processor), I was able to make the Facebook page work. The page also requires an HTML 5 web browser (Chrome, IE9, Safari 5 or Firefox 4) to function. If you think about it, Intel and agency Venables Bell & Partners are really targeting techno-geeks by creating a barrier to entry of sorts for its Facebook page. And, hey, at half a million “Likes,” they must be doing something right. And, on social media, isn’t a “spy story” kind of the go-to genre these days? Credits,  and that original viral video, after the jump.

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