Sneaky Preview

Product placement is on a new plateau of cool with news that it works even in movies that don’t exist. This is thanks to Campbell Doyle Dye, a hip London shop that opened in late 2001. The agency has twisted knickers in the U.K. with a trailer in cinemas and on TV for Lucky Star, a film osten sibly directed by Michael Mann. Benicio Del Toro stars as a man of mystery whose outrageous luck—in the stock market, at casinos, with women—earns him government ire and surveillance. But there’s no such film; the trailer, which was directed by Mann, is an ad for the Mercedes SL.

What better way to promote the “paragon of motoring virtue,” asks CDD co-founder Caspar Thykier, than with the movie-trailer format—in which cars take on a Hollywood sheen—and a character whose flashy wheels are just part of his unimaginable good for tune? Thykier shrugs off comparisons to Fallon’s BMW Films, saying Lucky Star is an entirely separate concept. But he doesn’t deny a coy statement from Mercedes (on that a feature may eventually be made based on the trailer. “That would be the hidden Holy Grail, wouldn’t it? But it’s too early to tell,” Thykier says. “We could actually use a movie like this right now,” he adds. “All that’s playing are things like Scooby Doo.”