In This Clever Ad, WD-40 Is the Ultimate Key to a Prison Break

India's Sideways agency turned a 'ridiculous thought' into quick thinking

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With over 2,000 documented uses, WD-40 is something many people use to fix their creaky doors or remove squashed bugs from a windshield. However, the brand and Indian agency Sideways have come up with another creative—and yeah, fairly illegal—use for the legacy product.

The brand launched a one-minute spot titled “Prison Break,” which follows a man as he tries to manufacture a contraption to help him break out of his prison cell. Picking up materials such as a fork, pieces of metal and a sling shot, the man sneaks his contraption into his cell and uses it as a way to pick up a can of WD-40, notably bypassing a set of ostensibly useful cell keys in favor of the product. The quirky ad ends with the prisoner finding freedom thanks to some busted rust and a little ingenuity.

“Any brief from [parent company] Pidilite comes with an opportunity and a responsibility to do only the most amazing advertising,” Sameer Sojwal and Nilay Moonje, executive creative directors at Sideways, said in a statement. “Such is the client relationship and our own expectation. While we joked about some completely useless ideas, we stumbled upon [the] thought, ‘What if a guy wants to get out of jail but can’t because of the rusted door? Then he won’t need the key, would he?’ And one ridiculous thought led to the next.”

Sideways, WD-40

Breaking into new branding

WD-40 has not only been around for decades, but has gone through a few rebrands in recent years. Although the brand has put a lot of thought into its rebrands with a Specialist line of the product and a new look for the can, it aims to continue branching out in providing access to this multi-use product, not only in India, but worldwide.

“WD-40 is an iconic product with magical powers with a million use cases. I believe it should be in every household,” Abhijit Avasthi, co-founder of Sideways, said in a statement, “With this film we are hoping to build an endearing, fun personality for the brand which will help increase its adoption. It’s got a trademark Pidilite narrative style—demo with humor.”

You can view the spot, “Prison Break” on the brand’s YouTube channel.

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