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Ad of the Day: Volkswagen Breaks Out No. 2 Pencil for Great Homage to A-ha's 'Take on Me'


Today in semi-obscure but fantastic source material for ads: A-ha's famous video for "Take on Me" has inspired the fun new Volkswagen spot below by Deutsch L.A.

The VW spot, directed by David Shane, whose résumé includes Bud Light's "Swear Jar," is a combination of stills, animated sequences and live action, just like the original video. And like the original, it was rotoscoped—meaning they filmed the actors and the cars and then animated the results.

The automaker must have figured enough of the target market was soaking up MTV in the mid-1980s to make this worthwhile. The original video, directed by Steve Barron, made the song famous rather than the other way around—the track was released three times before finally hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1985, a year after it was recorded. The video won six prizes at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards but was beaten out for Video of the Year by another Barron production—the video for "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits.

The end of the VW spot is amusing, and true to life: As Rolling Stone has noted,"Take on Me" does indeed have "one of the hardest-to-sing choruses in pop history."

Client: Volkswagen of America
Interim Chief Marketing Officer: Wayne Brannon
VP, Marketing: Kevin Mayer
GM, Marketing Communications: Justin Osborne
Advertising Manager: Jeff Sayen
Advertising Specialist: Chanel Arola

Spot: "Feeling Carefree"

Agency: Deutsch, Los Angeles
Executive Creative Director: Michael Kadin
Group Creative Director: Matt Ian
Creative Director: Mark Peters
Associate Creative Director: Ryan Scott
Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
Director of Content Production: Victoria Guenier
Executive Integrated Producer: Jim Haight

Production Company: O Positive
Director: David Shane
Executive Producer: Marc Grill
Line Producer: Ken Licata

Editorial Company:
Union Editorial
Editor: Jim Haygood
Assistant Editor: Dylan Firshein
Executive Producer: Michael Raimondi
Producer: Joe Ross

Post Facility: Company 3
Colorist: Beau Leon

Animation/Visual Effects Company: Passion Pictures
Head of Production: Anna Lord
Executive Producer: Alex Webster
Producer: Matt Saxton
Director: John Roberston

Music/Composer: "Take On Me"
Performed by a-ha
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc. & Sony/ATV Music Publishing
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Commercial Licensing & Sony/ATV Commercial Music Group

Audio Post: Lime
Mixer: Mark Meyuhas
Assistant: Matt Miller
Producer: Jessica Locke

Additional Deutsch Credits:
Chief Executive Officer: Mike Sheldon
Account Management Credits:
Group Account Director: Tom Else
Account Director: Monica Jungbeck
Account Supervisor: Alex Gross
Account Executive: Tara Poosti
Assistant Account Executive: Mary Cherwien
Product Specialist: Eddie Chae
Account Planners:
Chief Strategic Officer: Jeffrey Blish
Group Planning Director: Susie Lyons
Director of Integrated Business Affairs: Abilino Guillermo
Group Director Integrated Business Affairs: Gabriela Farias
Director or Broadcast Traffic: Carie Bonillo
Broadcast Traffic Manager: Courtney Tylka

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