In this spot for Ford Asia Pacific, a happy-go-lucky protagonist talks openly about an affliction he's lived with all his life: his small—but mighty—arms.
The mockumentary-style piece, directed by Andy Kelemen under the purview of creative director Shrey Khetarpal, follows him from childhood on up as he busts holes in the wall with his toy car, crushes glass carafes over dates, and breaks down doors just by touching them. "It's always been about my arms, my incredibly strong arms," he sighs. "I just didn't know it back then."
Things turn around for our friendly hero when he helps catch a purse-snatcher: He finds a wife, starts a family and becomes a model citizen. Our last impression is of him holding up a compact Ford SUV—small but mighty, like his arms.
Ford leaves nothing open to interpretation, ending the ad with a blunt push for its turbocharged, direct injection EcoBoost gas engines: "Great power. Saves fuel. Fewer emissions."
Claims like that are tougher to swallow since the Volkswagen drama, which not only cast the regulatory spotlight on VW but on European cars in general. Across the board, its industry suffers from (or enjoys, depending on your point of view) limited car industry regulation. It isn't yet clear how this affects American contenders, who could certainly use a win against their EU counterparts.
But even the educated skeptic can appreciate a quirky ad that reaches past garden-variety car porn, though it definitely takes cues from other playbooks: It brings to mind both Skittles' much-weirder "Struck by a Rainbow" mockumentary and a recent spot for Ambuja Cement, featuring India's most famous wrestler, the Great Khali, who has a lot of the same problems Ford's young star does.
Maybe he can offer him homebuilding tips.