The star of most car commercials, for obvious reasons, is the car. Even when a famous athlete, handsome actor or Sports Illustrated swimsuit model appears in the picture, their job is to show off the $40,000 piece of metal they want you to buy. It makes sense that in a spot for a particular product, you'd want to see the product. But somehow the most intriguing (and rarest) car commercials end up being the ones with no cars at all.
You may remember the 2002 Saturn commercial "Sheet Metal" from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, featuring a city of commuters mimicking the movement of their cars while remaining on foot. Save for a product shot at the end, the entire thing was done sans automobiles.
Now, that same director—Noam Murro of Biscuit Filmworks—has teamed up with Y&R in New York for this Land Rover spot below, which follows a similar premise. But instead of showing shuffling pedestrians going about their daily grind, the Land Rover ad uses four Parkour practitioners (also known as "traceurs") to demonstrate how a Land Rover handles rough terrain.
The aim of Parkour, for those unfamiliar, is to get from point A to point B using only one's body to overcome obstacles. That translates to lots of jumping, flipping, running and tumbling—which is exactly what the Range Rover's four traceurs do while racing through a forest to avoid various fallen trees, rocks, streams and ledges.
The spot takes place in slow motio, and the only soundtrack comes from a single piano, much like Murro's Saturn spot. Without so much as a voiceover offering the brand's name—there's just a logo at the end—you'll have to pay attention to know it's a Land Rover ad. But the impressive display of physical maneuvering (not to mention the cinematography) will have likely caught your eye by then.
Client: Tata Motors
Brand: Land Rover
Agency: Y&R, New York
Chief Creative Officer: Jim Elliott
Group Creative Directors: Marc Sobier, Andrew McKechnie
Art Director: Eduardo Quadra
Copywriter: Paul Wood
Executive Director of Production: Letitia Jacobs
Executive Producer: Craig Jelniker
Assistant Producer: Abby Bralove
EP Music: Jessica Dierauer
Assistant Music Producer: Rachel Rauch
Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Direction: Noam Murro
Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
Executive Producer: Colleen O'Donnell
Head of Production: Rachel Glaub
Producer: Jay Veal
Production Supervisor: Jen Berry
First Assistant Director: Craig Pinckes
Editing: Rock, Paper, Scissors
Visual Effects: MPC
Sound: Heard City
Music Company: Tone Farmer
Music Arranger: Ray Loewy