The advertising industry had the rug pulled from under it when the pandemic hit. According to Adage, the US industry cut 36,400 jobs in April, and in the same month UK broadcaster Channel 4 slashed the costs of its ads to make up for a predicted ad revenue cost of 50%. Meanwhile, those still making ads have struggled to adapt to the entirely new context, not to mention restrictions on production. While latter has produced a lot of new tropes (video call chats, a newly benevolent tone of voice) tons of great creative ideas have popped up in response. One such advert comes from Czech car maker Škoda, which has released a set of three new stop-frame adverts entirely shot from home using toy cars.
Made by agency Optimist and produced by Halal, the three adverts have three different directors: Johan Kramer, Steffen Haars and From Form. “Driven by inventiveness” and keen to show how “creativity beats crisis,” the campaign sees a typical car ad made fun and distinctive using miniatures of Škoda SUVs in the context of home.
“In times where ‘the normal’ becomes ‘the odd’, you have to leave the beaten path to move forward,” says Optimist’s CCO Ton Hollander. “When the pandemic hit, our industry was (and is confronted with radical new propositions forcing us to go back to the very core of creativity – coming up with unconventional solutions for newly emerged challenges. The core idea for Shot at Home; Discover new Possibilities is very much inspired by this spirit.”
Steffan Haars’ film shows a man working from home but distracted by his toy car, who creates a dramatic high-speed chase in his living room, yet the reality is a mess. Johan Kramer’s film, shot on Super 8, sees his car racing around table legs, fruit, house plants, bath bubbles and a precarious Jenga tower, disturbing the dog’s nap. “It’s truly a home-production and all exceptionally experimental for a commercial project and client like this,” Kramer comments.
From Form’s car emerges from a bread bin to race around other familiar household items, from a record player to a breakfast table, only to be caught under mixing bowl. “We chose recognisable home situations but with a slightly surreal and graphic approach,” say directors Jurjen Versteeg and Ashley Govers. “A bathroom becomes a mirror maze. A kitchen turns into a sculpture of glasses. We don’t live in a
huge mansion, to say the least, so shooting in a compact city apartment was quite a challenge. 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.”