Audi scores an Easy win in TV creativity award

Audi's "Escape" has won the latest Thinkboxes Award, run in partnership with Campaign and voted for by the Thinkbox Academy of senior creatives.

BBH London's task with this ad was to undercut the idea that Audi's premium features had to be serious - and communicated in such a way.

Instead, the agency took the action to the streets of Bangkok where a spectacular and terrifying martial arts gang fight is playing out. A man manages to escape to the back seat of an Audi A8 where he is quickly soothed by high-tech gadgetry that allows him a relaxing foot massage and a glass of chilled bubbly while listening to The Commodores' Easy. While the fight rages on around him, he sits back and enjoys.

"Just because these cars are premium, it doesn’t mean they can’t be playful," says BBH London's chief creative officer Ian Heartfield. "A lot of the tech is highly functional, but some of it, like the ambient lighting, the fridge and the now-famous foot massager are purely there to indulge the driver and passenger. To give them an ‘escape’ from the mad, bad, crazy world."

Benjamin Braun, marketing director at Audi UK, believes a "really good TV ad idea will show, as opposed to tell. It’ll treat the subject with wit and panache, crediting the viewer with intelligence and engaging them."

But, he adds: "it has to be effective, too – there’s no point creating an ad as a work of art if it doesn’t deliver its message, and to the right people.

"Escape" follows on the success of another Thinkboxes Award win for Audi and BBH: "Clowns" picked up the top prize at the end of 2017.

  • Creative agency: BBH London
  • Creative team: Ian Heartfield, Marc Rayson, Callum Prior
  • Client: Laura Brennan
  • Production company: MJZ
  • Director: Matthijs van Heijningen

Other ads on the Podium

BT Sport "Take Them All On"

As a child, every sports fan imagines taking on his or her sporting heroes – a notion that BT brings to life in a spot showing 9-year-old Charlotte beating an impressive array of big names. She bamboozles Gareth Bale, nutmegs Dele Alli, flattens Sam Warburton and smashes Johanna Konta, before dashing home to watch some more action on TV. The aim was to illustrate the full range of BT Sport’s sporting rights while underlining its commitment to emotional and engaging storytelling.

  • Creative agency: AMV BBDO
  • Creative team: Rob Messeter, Mike Crowe
  • Client: Jon Crownshaw
  • Production company: Sonny
  • Director: Fredrik Bond

Essity - TENA Men "Odyssey"

A suitably light-hearted spot follows one man’s epic globetrotting mission to find the secret to life – or, at the very least, discover an elegant method for dealing with urine leakage. His quest takes him into the presence of a mountain-top guru who tells him the answer – get a pair of TENA Men Active Fit pants. And you don’t have to schlep around the world to lay your hands on them either. You can buy them online. Oh well – you live and learn.

  • Creative agency: AMV BBDO
  • Creative team: Jeremy Tribe, Prabhu Wignarajah, Toby Allen, Jim Hilson 
  • Client: Oscar Ayala
  • Production company: BISCUIT
  • Director: Jeff Lowe

Halifax "Ghostbusters Contactless"

The bank’s previous commercial saw it having a bit of playful fun with The Wizard of Oz, edited to make it look like Dorothy was applying for a mortgage. The follow-up sees Ghostbusters getting the Halifax treatment, with post-production wizardry used to turn the film into a knockabout tale about the virtues of the contactless Visa debit card. Halifax manager Greg is "slimed" by a ghost and the Ghostbusters team is impressed at the contact he’s made – but he tells them he prefers contactless.

  • Creative agency: adam&eveDDB
  • Creative team: Ben Tollett, Paul Angus, Ted Heath
  • Client: Tim Male
  • Production company: Another
  • Director: Declan Lowley

NHS "We are the NHS"

Working for the NHS is no ordinary job – as this inspirational recruitment spot makes eminently clear. A slickly-edited montage of everyday scenes from the nation’s hospitals and clinics gives us a rich portrait of patient care – from childbirth to old age and all points in between. It aims not just to show real people and real moments from all walks of nursing life but also more broadly to evoke the pride so many of us feel about our national health service.

  • Creative agency: MullenLowe London
  • Creative team: Lovisa Silburn, Hugh Todd, Mark Elwood
  • Client: Ian Hampton
  • Production company: RSA Films
  • Director: Toby Dye

Click here to see who won the previous award

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