If You Liked Audi’s ‘Duel,’ You’ll Love This Insane Music Video Told in Reverse

Leningrad's 'Kolshik' wins gold at Epica

Headshot of David Griner

BERLIN, Germany—Normally, when an ad as well crafted as Audi’s “Duel” comes along, the last thing you want to see is the same creative approach getting rehashed by someone else. But here’s a notable exception.

Today at the Epica Awards judging in Berlin, one surprise gold winner was a music video for “Kolshik,” a 2017 song from Russian band Leningrad. Directed by musician and filmmaker Ilya Naishuller of U.K. production house Great Guns, the video tells a comically violent (and generally a bit NSFW, though without any nudity) story of a circus performance gone horribly wrong.

The four-minute story is told completely in reverse, making it more than a little reminiscent of the 2016 Audi spot from Venables Bell & Partners and director Ringan Ledwidge. While this one is purely a music video, with no product to sell but its song, chances are good that if you enjoyed “Duel,” you’ll love this one:

Epica is primarily an advertising awards show judged by industry journalists (including myself), but the festival this year added a category for music videos, which had previously fallen under other categories such as branded content. “Kolshik” was the new category’s clear winner, taking gold by a large margin.

While the video will be tallied as a U.K. win for being entered by Great Guns, it was a multinational effort that included Russian production firms Fancy Shot and Versus Pictures.

Neither this video nor Audi’s “Duel” were the first to tell a story backward, of course, but both have certainly set a high bar for how to do it exceptionally well.

Here’s a look back at the Audi spot, which Adweek named the No. 2 ad of 2016:


@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."