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.
The commercial was directed by Matthijs van Heijningen through MJZ.
"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.
Second and third in the July/August Thinkboxes Awards for TV ad creativity were "Take them all on" for BT Sport and "Odyssey" for Essity-owned TENA Men, both by AMV BBDO. Also shortlisted were "Ghostbusters contactless" for Halifax by Adam & Eve/DDB and "We are the NHS" for the NHS by MullenLowe.
The Thinkboxes, in association with Campaign, are the only bi-monthly awards that celebrate the UK’s world-beating TV ad creativity, in all its forms. They’re judged by the Thinkbox Academy – 200 advertising and marketing luminaries who have been involved in award-winning creative work for TV.
Get a kick out of discovering more about the making of the ad in the October issue of Campaign.
Thinkbox is the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, in all its forms. Its shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Media Innovations and UKTV. Thinkbox works with the marketing community with a single ambition: to help advertisers get the best out of today’s TV.