Car ads have disappointed me lately, so I was pleasantly surprised by this Fallon London spot for Skoda, which ranks as one of the more entertaining and memorable commercials in the category so far this year. (It avoids stalling on gooey sentimentality and hey-we-set-a-record! docudrama.) The awesomely realized one-joke spot shows various objects in a typical suburban neighborhood that have become outrageously big and powerful. These include a baby carriage that's more like a tricked-out moon-buggy; an ice-cream truck serving 2-foot-high cones; a lawnmower with eight cylinders; a jackhammer with mini-hammers to really grind up the pavement; a barbecue grill that's a cross between a UFO and a nuclear plant; and a kid's Big Wheel-type tricycle with wildly humongous wheels. Despite all the size and power on display, folks still stare open-mouthed at a dude tooling around in his high-performance Skoda Octavia vRS.
The action manages to be self-consciously silly but never stupid, because the souped-up stuff, while outlandish and cartoony, is nonetheless cool-looking and convincing. (Check out the "behind-the-scenes" clip below, which opens with a spoof commercial for the jet-powered, bomb-proof grill, and shows some of the impressive props being made.) The slogan, "It's not your everyday family car," is a bit weak, but I still got the message that this is one powerful Skoda, and it might just turn some heads on my boring old street. I'm sold ... I'll take the grill! (And a chocolate cone with extra sprinkles, please.)