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Ad of the Day: Hot Wheels

22 minutes of gnarly race cars, gorgeous terrain, and cheesy dialogue
Two cars jump from ramps in a still from a Hot Wheels Ad.

How much Hot Wheels fantasy can you stand?

For the past couple of years, the Mattel-owned brand has focused on appealing to older kids (and maybe a few nostalgic geezers) who are still boys at heart. That's meant building real-life versions of Hot Wheels toys as staging grounds for totally insane, and sometimes record-breaking, automotive stunts—like near-vertical drops, upside-down driving, and corkscrew jumps.

Now, the brand is out with the latest installment of its “Hot Wheels for Real” campaign. Set at the brand's fictional "Hot Wheels Test Facility," the 22-minute live-action ad features 8 drivers competing in a race for the title "The World's Best Driver."

Created with agency Mistress, the new video will be running later this month as a seven-part series on Cartoon Network in the U.S., and on the channel in other global markets as a whole 22-minute block. The full distribution plan, which includes cinema and online, will cover 25 countries and 31 languages, according to the brand.

The tone is best suited to kids who’ve just recently aged out of playing with Hot Wheels. The narrative is fairly simplistic, and the acting isn’t going to win any Oscars. The digital effects, reminiscent of video game graphics, are gimmicky. The cars—custom-designed for the ad—are plenty cool, though, and the spot comes complete with the stunning landscapes, slow-motion jumps, and gnarly crashes you’d expect from the genre—and the brand. Bonus spoiler alerts: There's a cameo by racing champion Mario Andretti. There are night-vision goggles. There is even a parachute drop.

And if you can make it all the way to the end, there's another excellent stunt. Or, if you don't have the patience, you can just skip to 20:00.

Client: Mattel/Hot Wheels
Agency: Mistress
Production Company: Bandito Brothers
Director: Mike McCoy
 
 

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