Ad of the Day: Hot Wheels

The toy-car brand prepares for a real-life stunt

Hot Wheels is getting larger than life. Mattel's miniature-car brand, more familiar with living rooms than actual race tracks, is set to turn heads with a major real-life auto stunt at the Indianapolis 500 on May 29. Just hours before the race, it will send a life-size version of a Hot Wheels car down a giant custom-built replica of an orange Hot Wheels ramp, where it will pick up speed and, at the end of a straightaway, attempt a new world-record jump by a four-wheel vehicle (the existing record being 301 feet, set by Johnny Greaves). The Hot Wheels driver's identity is being kept secret for now. "It is a feat of engineering, and it's a jaw-dropping sight when you see it," vp of marketing Simon Waldron told the Associated Press earlier this spring. Hey, what could possibly go wrong? The stunt is the centerpiece of a whole 30-minute Hot Wheels program airing on ABC on the day of the race—and which is promoted in the 90-second trailer below, from Los Angeles agency Mistress and director Mike "Mouse" McCoy of Bandito Brothers. The spot builds on the Area-51 style mythology the toy brand has created for its "Hot Wheels For Real" campaign, purporting the existence of a testing facility "hidden for 43 years," where all sorts of bad-ass driving happens on huge Hot Wheels tracks. The whole supersizing of the Hot Wheels cars has a magical quality about it—and it goes beyond mere gimmickry thanks to the jump, which frankly will be awesome to see. To literally rise up from nothing (well, next to nothing) and achieve what full-size cars never have? Now, that's a David and Goliath story worth telling.