Volvo Trucks pranks a valet, the Xperia is unboxed underwater and Jeff Goldblum reveals the secret to great lighting. Yep, it’s just another week in AdLand!
So which ads have caught fire on the web over the last seven days? Here are our five picks.
5. Volvo Trucks – The Casino
Volvo Trucks adds another member to its convoy of smart, snappy advertising with ‘The Casino’, a prankvert with a difference. Infusing the genre with some decadent flair, the ad takes place on the Italian Riviera where an unsuspecting parking valet receives a truck-shaped surprise. I know what you’re thinking – at last, someone taking those valet attendants down a peg! About time.
Considerably tighter than most prankverts, which often become manically expansive, ‘The Casino’ has the rhythm of a great joke. Simple set-up, strong punchline and a pretty locale to boot. We already knew that Volvo Trucks know a thing or two about hooks, but it looks like they’ve done it again.
4. Peugeot – The Legend Returns
Reprising a classically cool ad from 30 years ago, Peugeot’s latest spot brings a gritty, Jason Bourne-esque update to the little car’s super spy ambitions. The original ad, so obviously made during the Cold War it practically hums ‘The Internationale’, featured the nippy roadster pursued by a bomber plane through an alpine landscape. This time around, the stakes have been upped considerably thanks to some very judicious use of CGI.
Marvellously shot and coordinated, ‘The Legend Returns’ manages to cram an entire Bond-style action sequence into under two minutes, with a goofy slo-motion set piece that wouldn’t look out of place in the cinema. It’s not exactly high realism, but sometimes you just need to see an attack helicopter pursue a car down a snowboard half-pipe.
3. GEICO – Horror Movie: It’s What You Do
Facing an imminent, ludicrously predictable demise, characters in the horror genre are famously clueless in the act of self-preservation. GEICO plays on that expectation in this satirical spot, suggesting that to remain with another insurer is tantamount to ‘hiding behind the chainsaws’. So don’t be spooked and head for the cemetery the next time your car doesn’t start. Just switch to GEICO.
2. Carphone Warehouse – Sony Xperia X3 Underwater Unboxing
Sony have been on the warpath recently, trying to convince everyone just how waterproof their new Xperia X3 is. Going as far as creating underwater-specific apps, we’ve been forced to conclude that the smartphone is, indeed, really rather waterproof.
Carphone Warehouse have similarly taken the bait, using the phone to conduct the world’s first underwater unboxing video. If you’re unfamiliar, the unboxing sub-genre is perhaps the least compelling thing on the internet, although surprisingly popular. A heady combination of bizarre angles, droning voice-over and unilluminating insights into – you guessed it – what’s in the box, but the added peril of being underwater can only improve them in my opinion.
1. GE – Enhance Your Lighting
What’s Jeff Goldblum been up to for the last fifteen years? Short answer: I don’t know. Long answer: I still don’t know, but now he’s appearing as the sleazy lounge act lead in GE’s latest lightbulb commercial.
Before you conclude that a lightbulb commercial sounds dryer than Simon Schama describing a biscuit dessert, adjust your expectations. In one of the strangest celebrity appearances of the year, Goldblum’s Terry Quattro makes a very convincing case for upgrading your home lightbulbs. Rhetorical tactics include: mugging for the camera, belittling his ‘light servant’ and playing a piano situated handily above his hot tub.
It needs to be seen to be appreciated, but GE have made a strong late-stage contender for funniest ad of the summer.