There's one thing almost everyone watching Monday night's first presidential debate will be able to agree on—that this new Audi commercial, "Duel," airing during the telecast, is a brilliant bit of perfectly timed entertainment.
It would give away too much to reveal the identities of the couple who first appear, exhausted and disheveled, on the floor of a ballroom—having apparently crashed through the skylight above and on to a giant seafood buffet. The action then proceeds all in reverse, showing the man and woman's War of the Roses-like battles, scene by scene—hurtling headlong toward the initial moment of conflict.
Before reading further, check out the spot, by Venables Bell & Partners, here:
It's the perfect spot for what's been a brutal political season—it's violent and unrelenting and (literally) backwards. Yet it's also the opposite of this election, in that the ultimate payoff is well worth the wait and something everyone can love. Its gender-opposite foes are equally matched, and they both want the same thing. And it very cleverly positions the Audi RS 7 itself as the ultimate candidate—the thing worth choosing, no matter who you are.
The onscreen copy at the end reads, "Beautiful things are worth fighting for. Choose the next driver wisely." Those lines are pointed but also pretty bipartisan, likely to resonate with Clinton and Trump supporters alike. In fact, the only group that seems likely to uniformly oppose the spot are lobsters.
The spot really is shot like a Hollywood-blockbuster, too, and that's largely down to the stocked talent in the production team. The ad was directed by Ringan Ledwidge, one of the industry's best (whose credits include the Guardian's famous "Three Little Pigs" spot); the cinematography is by Greig Fraser, with stunt choreography by Robert Alonzo; and the production designer was the Oscar-nominated K.K. Barrett (Her, Where the Wild Things Are, Lost in Translation and Adaptation).
The spot will air during all three presidential debates, starting tonight.
Audi has been on a roll lately, with VB&P having also made the very fun "Desolation" spot with Airbnb a few weeks back and Razorfish crafting the amusing T-Rex ad as well.
Client Name: Audi of America
Spot Name: Duel
Air Dates: 9/26/16, 10/9/16, 10/19/16
Agency: Venables Bell & Partners
Founder, Chairman: Paul Venables
Partner, Executive Creative Director: Will McGinness
Creative Director: Justin Moore
Creative Director: Erich Pfeifer
ACD/Copywriter: Matt Keats
ACD/Art Director: Matt Miller
Director Of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
Senior Producer: Matt Flaker
Producer: Gabby Gardner
Production Company: Rattling Stick
Director: Ringan Ledwidge
Director of Photography: Greig Fraser
Head of Production: Richard McIntosh
Executive Producer: Joe Biggins
Executive Producer: Jeff Shupe
Line Producer: Greg Haggart
Stunt Coordinator: Robert Alonzo
Production Designer: K.K. Barrett
Editing Company: Work Editorial
Editor: Rich Orrick
Assistant Editor: Mike Horan
Executive Producer: Marlo Baird
Producer: Brandee Probasco
Music Company: Woodwork Music
Music Composer: Philip Kay
Music Coordinator: Andy Oskwarek
Sound Design/Final Mix: The Sound Lab at Technicolor
Executive Producer: Debbie Gonzalez
Lead Sound Designer/Mix Engineer: Scott Gershin
Sound Designer: Johannes Hammers
VFX: The Mill
Executive Creative Director: Phil Crowe
VFX Supervisor: John Shirley
CG Lead: David Lawson
VFX Senior Producer: Anastasia von Rahl
VFX Associate Producer: Karina Slater
Colorist: Greg Reese
Head Of Brand Management: David Corns
Brand Director: Chris Bergen
Brand Supervisor: Justin Wang
Brand Manager: Abu Ngauja
Project Managers: Talya Fisher, Leah Murphy