Responses by Justin Moore, creative director at Venables Bell & Partners
Background: The purpose of the spot “Driver” was to reinforce Audi’s leadership position by putting forward a unique point of view on the future of automotive technology. As the conversation surrounding autonomous vehicles becomes louder, the future of driving is less defined than ever before. Taking an authentic position on that felt like a powerful step in the right direction.
Reasoning: The debate over autonomous cars usually defaults to two opposing points of view: cheerleading or fearmongering. We wanted to cut through and say something more interesting and rooted in human experience. Getting behind the wheel and hitting the gas can be the most fun you can have sitting down. So we wrote a love letter to the joys of driving today, wrapped up in a vision of tomorrow.
Challenges: Creating a future that feels authentic in a commercial. It has to have the right balance of familiar and strange. And it has to do it in the first frame, or you’ve lost the audience. Working with a director as brilliant as Craig Gillespie helps.
Favorite details: The grand scope of those opening wide shots is breathtaking and the smaller details are awesome, but I’m pleased that we didn’t let them overwhelm the human story. I’m also delighted at the positive, non-stereotypical portrayal of an African-American man as our lead character. We need more diversity in advertising. We’re also extremely proud of our partners at Audi. They have built a brand that has the confidence to enter this debate with a unique and nuanced point of view.
Visual influences: Spike Jonze’s movie Her and Alex Garland’s movie Ex Machina, along with the cityscapes in Fritz Lang’s movie Metropolis.
Specific demands: To feature an Audi R8 Spyder driving very fast along a beautiful road.