Here's something fun (yet still work-related) for a Friday. Chevy has a new YouTube video that I think you should see. It's an ad for the new Chevy Sonic, which is apparently a pretty "extreme" vehicle. The video is dreamy and airy, and completely void of voiceover, pricing details, lease information, miles per gallon, or any of the other car commercial stereotypes. It's just a car... free-falling out of the sky.
The Skydiving Chevy Sonic
Before I get into discussing the ad, and why I think it's fantastic, you need to take a look at it:
[Official video removed from YouTube - sorry]
I love this ad, and it's the perfect illustration of what online video lets you get away with that television commercials never could.
It's long. Easily ten times longer than most TV ads at over 3 minutes.
It's abstract. This video is about as close to the "art" line as advertising can get. I've already sent it to dozens of friends, and not one of them received it because I thought they were in the market for a Chevy Sonic. Instead, they received it because I thought they'd enjoy it... be entertained by it.
It's unconventional. None of the standard car commercial fare. Even when car ads get outside the box, they usually go straight for humor. This is almost... inspiring in some way. It's beautiful and mesmerizing and strange.
It teases an end that doesn't come. Like The Sopranos finale or the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, this video spends several minutes teasing the audience, preparing them for something that never comes: the landing. Or... crash landing, as I'm guessing it ended up being. And we, the audience, don't get it. Some might be annoyed by that, but I think, at the very least, it's a pretty ingenious way to grab the viewer.
Maybe they had a parachute on it, and it wasn't harmed at all. Or maybe it smashed into the desert and scattered into a million pieces. We may never know. But you and I just sat and watched a car falling in slow motion for three minutes, and many of us are likely to talk about it. Which is the whole point of this thing called video marketing, isn't it?
Kudos to Chevy for getting expressive and moody, and way outside convention. Here's hoping we see more of this kind of thing from them in the future.