A little boy dreams about his hardworking dad being a superhero in a branded content film made by BMW for the Chinese market.
The film, by Wieden & Kennedy Shanghai, was made for Father's Day and illustrates the struggle for work-life balance in modern China, where the middle class has to balance new and traditional responsibilities. As seen here in the trailer, the father in question, played by Chinese movie star Mark Zhao, is struggling to balance being there for his son with his high pressure business job.
The (adorably cast) little boy imagines his father as battling baddies in order to get home from work and away from the influence of a "dark queen" played by Song Jia (who's actually his father's sympathetic female boss and a powerful example of a modern Chinese businesswoman). In his stories, which play out on screen, the imaginary superhero version of his dad defeats Kung Fu fighters and evil kidnappers in his BMW X3 in order to get out of boring meetings and home to his son.
The story culminates with the father arriving just in time for a school play in which the little boy explains why his dad is his superhero. It's heartwarming (verging on the syrupy), but the nuanced performances and expert direction by Martin Werner, via Loft Films, make this very watchable. See the full 15-minute film here.
The message of the film is to highlight the reliability of the X3 while paying tribute to the modern Chinese professionals who are presumably the brand's target audience. Okan Usta, creative director at W&K Shanghai, comments: "Reliability is a quality that is often taken for granted, yet we all need that person who is the anchor of stability in our lives. We wanted to make their struggle larger than life by showing it through the wild imagination of a child. It's a universal insight that touches so many lives, including mine as a new father."