Creativity

Audi's Clown-Themed Ad Is Totally Killer

Ringan Ledwidge Directs Stunning Spot for BBH London

By Alexandra Jardine. Published on Sep 28, 2017

Editor's Pick

When did clowns stop being funny and start just being creepy? Certainly, last year's killer clown phenomenon didn't help, nor will current Stephen King movie "It." But that hasn't stopped Audi from using them for comedic (and informative) purposes in its latest U.K. ad, which makes the point that you're safe in one of its cars even when surrounded by other drivers who behave like clowns.

The film, directed by Rattling Stick's Ringan Ledwidge for BBH London, is set to Sondheim musical classic "Send in the Clowns," covered by Lisa Hannigan, and depicts a bunch of different clowns doing ill-advised things in their clapped-out vehicles -- like reversing at speed on a main road, swerving all over the road while applying makeup, driving with custard pies covering their eyes and carelessly losing bouncy balls out of the back of their van. Never mind, though, the Audi drivers are still safe with their sensors and other safety features that detect clown-ish driving a mile off.

The spot ends with the new Audi A8 parking between two circus jalopies using its park assist feature, before the tagline: "Audi Technology. Clown Proof."

It's a refreshing twist for the category, the juxtaposition of the colorful clowns and their antics bringing a warm, artful touch to what's basically a product feature showcase. Craft-wise, it's superb as well, and the interplay of cinematography, art direction, editing and music almost make you forget you're watching a sheet metal ad.

As well as running on TV, the ad will also be the first commercial ever to be featured at the British Film Institute just ahead of the main feature film. A logo will encourage people to Shazam the soundtrack, and for every Shazam, Audi will donate to the road safety charity Brake, in support of U.K. Road Safety Week in November.

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About

Credits

Date
Sep 28, 2017
Agency:
BBH London
Client:
Audi
Marketing Director:
Benjamin Braun
Copywriter:
Doug Fridlund
Art Director:
Mikael Alcock
Executive Creative Director:
Ian Heartfield
Strategist:
Ed Kurland
Strategy Director:
Damien Le Castrec
Business Lead:
Polly McMorrow
Account Manager:
Zara Scriven
Account Director:
François-Xavier Hafner
Producer:
David Lynch
Assistant Producer:
Charlie Hurlock
Production Company:
Rattling Stick
Director:
Ringan Ledwidge
Executive Producer:
Katie Keith
Producer:
Tim Nunn
Director of Photography:
Adam Arkapaw
Post Production:
The Mill
Editing House:
Work Editorial
Editor:
Rich Orrick
Sound:
String and Tins
Head of Music & Music Supervisor:
Ayla Owen
Music Supervisor:
Julz Baldwin
Record Producer:
David Kosten

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