“A visual feast. For the audience in 1979 this was as close to sci-fi as you could get. It was like watching two minutes of the Star Wars movie – no one had seen anything like it before. The ad also makes it seem like lots of care has gone into building the cars.”
One evening in 1979, television viewers who hadn’t gone to the loo in the middle of News at Ten saw something very unusual, a commercial break completely taken up by one ad. It was a two-minute triumph showing a car being put together in a factory, and not a dirty blue overall in sight. The original idea for an ad to promote the new italian car was to use smoke coming out of the Vatican as a sign that a new car had been born. But at the drawing board, writer Paul Weiland remembered an item he had seen on the tv show Tomorrow’s World about the Fiat factory in Italy where cars were put together by robots. He tracked the footage down and decided it could form the basis of the new Fiat campaign. “In Europe the car was called the Ritmo, so I thought… what kind of music can I put with this?” recalls Weiland. “My knowledge of classical music was zilch but I remembered something called Figaro and thought: Figaro sounds like Ritmo! I put this music to it and everyone thought it was great…” If that part was easy, the filming of the commercial turned out to be a nightmare.
Ironically, when the production team led by the director Hugh Hudson arrived at the Fiat factory in Turin to shoot the film they had to run a gauntlet of pickets and burning tyres lit by workers protesting about robots taking their jobs. “When we arrived there, there was a strike, and we got locked in to the factory” recalls director Hugh Hudson. “We were locked in nobody operating, just someone to press the button. All the workers were out but we were in making the film…” “The commercial was quite expensive at that time, around 300.000 pounds” add Paul Weiland, “but they probably lost about seven million in production, because every two seconds we were having to stop the machines!”
The finished ad had no voice over and ended on a simple caption “Handbuilt by Robots”. Many ad makers believe its intelligent combination of music and camerawork make it one of the best TV commercials ever shown in UK.
Advertising Agency: Collett Dickenson Pearce
Copywriter: Paul Weiland
Art Director: Dave Horry
Director: Hugh Hudson
Production company: Hudson Films
British Airways has unveiled digital billboards which will ‘interact’ with aircrafts flying overhead, as the brand looks to remind customers how magical flying can be, from the perspective of children. Developed by Ogilvy 12th Floor, the ads use custom built surveillance technology which tracks the aircraft and interrupts the digital display just as it passes over the site, revealing the image of a child pointing at the plane overhead accompanied by its flight number and destination it’s arriving from. This will be accompanied by a relevant message to the flight, such as ‘Fly the new A380 to Los Angeles. ba.com/lookup’, or details such as the lowest fare available or the temperature at the destination.
Abigail Comber, British Airways’ head of marketing, said: “This is a first, not just for British Airways but for UK advertising. We all know from conversations with friends and family that we wonder where the planes are going and dream of an amazing holiday or warm destination. The clever technology allows this advert to engage people there and then and answer that question for them. We hope it will create a real ‘wow’ and people will be reminded how amazing flying is and how accessible the world can be.”
The destinations can also be updated immediately depending on changing focus routes for the airline. The ads are part of the airlines’ “Magic of Flying” campaign, which aims to remind people of how magical flying can be, especially from the eyes of a child. The “interactive” billboards are located in London’s Piccadilly Circus and Chiswick.
1 – ADC-UA Awards (Ukraine)/Agency: Leo Burnett Ukraine
2 – The 2002 Marketing Awards/Agency: Taxi Canada
3 – Art Director’s Club CdF 2006/Photographer Vincent Dixon
4 – The Art Directors Club CfE 2002/Bozell New York
5 – The Singapore Creative Circle Awards 1997/Leo Burnett Singapore
6 – Creative Club of Belgium (Call for entry 2005)/Agency: Duval Guilarme, Brussels
7 – The KBP Radio Awards, C.f.E 2007/Agency: BBDO Guerrera Ortega, Philippines
8 – The Art Director’s Club CdF 2009/Agency: Publicis New York
9 – Clio Awards 2004/Agency: ALMAP/BBDO
10 – The Art Director’s Club Cdf 2011/Agency: DDB New York
11 – Crèa Awards 2007/Agency: BOS, Canada
12 – The One Club Call for Entries 2007/Agency: Jupiter Drawing Room, South Africa
13 – AdAwards Call for Entries 2006/Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Paris
14 – ADC 92° Annual Awards/Agency: The Conquistadors Collective, New York
15 – The Tinta Awards Call for Entries 2012/Agency: Young & Rubicam Philippines
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