Skoda's latest campaign got creative with the coronavirus constraints on production. The brand gave directors free rein to go wild with toy cars in their own homes.
The playful campaign by Dutch agency Optimist and production company Halal consists of three films from directors From Form (Jurjen Versteeg and Ashley Govers), Johan Kramer and Steffen Haars, who each put their own stamp on the concept. "We approached Halal with an unpretentious brief: can you shoot a Skoda SUV campaign at home, with a minimal crew consisting of your household, only equipped with a miniature car model?" said Ton Hollander, CCO and partner at Optimist in a statement. "The result is three distinct films each relatable to our target audience in different ways."
Haars' creative idea revolves around a WFH dad who goes a bit crazy creating the ad with the toy car and trashes the house—much to the horror of his returning wife and child. “I immediately loved the idea of a ‘working-at-home-dad’ being completely distracted by a toy car, totally losing himself in this self-created car ad," said Haars. "The challenges and (at times) distractions of working at home are familiar to a lot of people these days. It was really refreshing to work like this, and I think what you see on screen reflects all the raw energy and enthusiasm put directly into the crafting of these films.”
Kramer's is an off-roading epic that sees the car roar around a jungle of house plants, an obstacle course of a checker board, followed by a splash through the bathtub, all shot on Super-8. “Embracing this approach as a filmmaker was a true joy, you have a lot of freedom despite the limitations," he said "That in itself is a message I wanted my film to reflect."
Free From, meanwhile, add some surreal touches to the car's adventure. Their film depicts a man chasing it around the home cat-and-mouse style. "We don’t live in a huge mansion, to say the least, so shooting in a compact city apartment was quite a challenge," they said. "Space is your biggest enemy, so you have to plan everything pretty neat and work from room to room. But still, before you know it your whole house ends up with tripods, lights and cables—making it a 'set jungle' where you also want to enjoy breakfast and dinner.”
The Skoda ads aren't the first during the pandemic to use toy cars or miniatures: earlier on, a Honda Civic ad from Memac Ogilvy Dubai also experimented with the concept. These, however, add a whole new layer of creativity and self-awareness to the genre.
“Being inventive, human and surprising is what defines us as a brand and as a team,” said Tobias Talmon, head of Skoda Marketing Communication, in a statement. “While this campaign perfectly delivers on that, there is an extra touch of magic in the films thanks to the passion and enthusiasm of everyone involved, the directors especially. Business aside, we really hope that Skoda fans and friends will enjoy these films and will be inspired to discover new possibilities.”