Audi Made One Hell of an Entertaining Ad for Tonight’s Debate That Everyone Will Love

A much more enjoyable 'Duel'

There's one thing almost everyone watching Monday night's first presidential debate will be able to agree on—that this new Audi commercial, "Duel," airing during the telecast, is a brilliant bit of perfectly timed entertainment.

It would give away too much to reveal the identities of the couple who first appear, exhausted and disheveled, on the floor of a ballroom—having apparently crashed through the skylight above and on to a giant seafood buffet. The action then proceeds all in reverse, showing the man and woman's War of the Roses-like battles, scene by scene—hurtling headlong toward the initial moment of conflict.

Before reading further, check out the spot, by Venables Bell & Partners, here:

It's the perfect spot for what's been a brutal political season—it's violent and unrelenting and (literally) backwards. Yet it's also the opposite of this election, in that the ultimate payoff is well worth the wait and something everyone can love. Its gender-opposite foes are equally matched, and they both want the same thing. And it very cleverly positions the Audi RS 7 itself as the ultimate candidate—the thing worth choosing, no matter who you are.

The onscreen copy at the end reads, "Beautiful things are worth fighting for. Choose the next driver wisely." Those lines are pointed but also pretty bipartisan, likely to resonate with Clinton and Trump supporters alike. In fact, the only group that seems likely to uniformly oppose the spot are lobsters. 

The spot really is shot like a Hollywood-blockbuster, too, and that's largely down to the stocked talent in the production team. The ad was directed by Ringan Ledwidge, one of the industry's best (whose credits include the Guardian's famous "Three Little Pigs" spot); the cinematography is by Greig Fraser, with stunt choreography by Robert Alonzo; and the production designer was the Oscar-nominated K.K. Barrett (Her, Where the Wild Things Are, Lost in Translation and Adaptation).

The spot will air during all three presidential debates, starting tonight.

Audi has been on a roll lately, with VB&P having also made the very fun "Desolation" spot with Airbnb a few weeks back and Razorfish crafting the amusing T-Rex ad as well.


Client Name: Audi of America

Brand: Audi

Spot Name: Duel

Air Dates: 9/26/16, 10/9/16, 10/19/16

Agency: Venables Bell & Partners

Founder, Chairman: Paul Venables

Partner, Executive Creative Director: Will McGinness

Creative Director: Justin Moore

Creative Director: Erich Pfeifer

ACD/Copywriter: Matt Keats

ACD/Art Director: Matt Miller

Director Of Integrated Production: Craig Allen

Senior Producer: Matt Flaker

Producer: Gabby Gardner

Production Company: Rattling Stick

Director: Ringan Ledwidge

Director of Photography: Greig Fraser

Head of Production: Richard McIntosh

Executive Producer: Joe Biggins

Executive Producer: Jeff Shupe

Line Producer: Greg Haggart

Stunt Coordinator: Robert Alonzo

Production Designer: K.K. Barrett

Editing Company: Work Editorial

Editor: Rich Orrick

Assistant Editor: Mike Horan

Executive Producer: Marlo Baird

Producer: Brandee Probasco

Music Company: Woodwork Music

Music Composer: Philip Kay

Music Coordinator: Andy Oskwarek

Sound Design/Final Mix: The Sound Lab at Technicolor

Executive Producer: Debbie Gonzalez

Lead Sound Designer/Mix Engineer: Scott Gershin

Sound Designer: Johannes Hammers

VFX: The Mill

Executive Creative Director: Phil Crowe

VFX Supervisor: John Shirley

CG Lead: David Lawson

VFX Senior Producer: Anastasia von Rahl

VFX Associate Producer: Karina Slater

Colorist: Greg Reese

Head Of Brand Management: David Corns

Brand Director: Chris Bergen

Brand Supervisor: Justin Wang

Brand Manager: Abu Ngauja

Project Managers: Talya Fisher, Leah Murphy