It's the rare commercial that you wish went on longer. But such is the case with this 30-second Dodge Charger spot advertising the Chrysler brand's tie-in with the groundbreaking TV show/video game Defiance.
The Syfy show is a futuristic drama set in 2046 in a city called Defiance, which sits atop the ruins of St. Louis, Mo. Seven unique alien races have arrived on Earth, a development that has thrown humans for a bit of a loop. But not Dodge. As you see in the ad, from Wieden + Kennedy, which begins in the present day and continues to 2046, the Dodge Charger is so tough and versatile that it manages to survive the apocalypse, the invasion and lots of frantic driving by alien-pecked humans. "Only the defiant survive," says the copy at the end.
The show's hero, Joshua Nolan (Grant Bowler), drives a couple of Dodge Chargers, which have been modified a bit to fit the futuristic story line. The cars were directly integrated into the story in this past Monday's episode, the sixth of the first season, becoming major characters. And while there's an element of goofiness in having modern-day vehicles drive through Armageddon and live to tell the tale, there's a gritty, cool factor here too—achieved largely by the nice juxtaposition of the dark, hectic visuals and the soulful, stylish song "Freedom" by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton (which you may recognize from Django Unchained). Ads for video games often pair violence and beauty in this way especially well—here, the fictional premise lets an automaker do the same.
And no wonder it feels like a video-game spot. Defiance is also a massively multiplayer online video game. The show and the game feature interconnected worlds and story lines—the show impacts the game, and the game influences the show. And while the show features the Charger, the game incorporates the Dodge Challenger into the mix.
Dodge and W+K have glimpsed the future before. Maybe we could use the Dart's time machine to go back and make this Charger spot a :60?
Clients: Dodge, Syfy
Project: Dodge Charger | Defiance
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Creative Directors: Aaron Allen / Michael Tabtabai / Kevin Jones
Copywriter: Smith Henderson
Art Director: Susan Land
Executive Producer: Corey Bartha
Account Team: Thomas Harvey / Lani Reichenbach / Ramon Cruz
Project Manager: Tamar Berk
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Susan Hoffman
Agency Executive Producer: Ben Grylewicz
Agency Producer: Jennie Lindstrom / Kirsten Acheson
Business Affairs Director: Amber Lavender
Production Company: MJZ
Director: Nicolai Fuglsig
Executive Producer: Emme Wilcockson
Line Producer: James Blom
Director of Photography: Robert Elswit
Editorial Company: Rock, Paper Scissors
Editor: Stewart Reeves
Post Producer: Alexandra Zickerick
Post Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver
VFX Company: Method
VFX Supervisor: Ben Walsh
Executive Producer: Stephanie Gilgar
Head of 2D/Flame Artist: Patrick Ferguson
Producer: Jason Cohon
Coordinator: Nicole Saccardi
Nuke Artists: Alex Gitler / Grady Campbell
Matte Painting: Roger Kupelian / Rich Mahon / Zach Christian
FX Artist: Travis Harkleroad
Tracking: Apirak Kamjan / Rachan Chirattanakornkul
Roto: Kenneth Liu / Scott Crafford
Music+Sound Company: Stimmung
Sound Designer: Gus Koven
Producer: Ceinwyn Clark
Mix Company: Lime Studios
Mixer: Mark Meyuhas
Producer: Jessica Locke