Responses by Sacha Lacroix, director of strategic planning and Gilles Fichteberg, cofounder/creative director, Rosapark
Background: If you don’t pay close attention to the spot, “Ugly in the ’90s,” you would never guess that this is an ad for a car company. Since the one-minute spot is based on fashion insight, reminding people of what we looked like thirty years ago, it was logical to show looks rather than cars. The logo does appear at the end, which ties the concept together. Our goal was to surprise people and prove that their perceptions of Škoda are wrong.
Reasoning: The point of tension for Škoda is the difference between what customers think of the brand: the old-fashioned cars, and the reality: the new, contemporary models. Working with this tension, we came up with the punchline: “you were ugly too in the ’90s.” Since people were kind of ugly during the ’90s, but eventually changed with time, people could accept that Škoda might have changed too.
Challenges: Perfecting the casting, the decor and fashion styles. Usually we talk about the action, script and all the twists and turns with the producer. This time, however, the conversations opened with discussions about the accuracy of the looks and of the small details, such as the teat or the tie-dye T-shirt, which acts as a madeleine of Proust.
Favorite details: The quality of the styles and haircuts. We paid special attention to all of these important points, performing in-depth research into the iconography to make sure we were as precise as possible when it came to this magical period of the early ’90s.
Specific demands: As luck would have it, our client gave us carte blanche when it came to depicting the ’90s. Our goal was to be as realistic as possible, and funny without falling into a stereotype. The fact that the client had so much trust in us when it came to recreating the period made the project easy to do in the short time frame we had.
Alternative approach: If we had a bigger budget, we would have shot in some actual nightclubs because we had to shoot the whole spot in one day in the same house. The nightclub scene was filmed in the garage, so we just had to move the cars and put up a disco ball and lasers.