advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Suzuki Films takes you back to the days of, well, BMW Films.

And you thought the Suzuki spot with the girl bikers going after the guys was cute. No, it was actually part of something more sinister. What’s that, you don’t remember what brand the spot was for? Well, me neither, but that’s another issue and not the reason I called.

Anyway, saw this spot while sitting through some 50 commercials at the Movie-Plex-O-Rama over the weekend. Figured another brand is airing its :30 spots in movie theatre previews and patting itself on the back for ‘utilizing all forms of media,’ even though it’s really the same spot from TV. Whatever.

Then I saw it went to their site where you can “Find out what happens next at Suzuki Films.” (Guess they’re making movies now instead of cars?) Now, most ideas are taken from somewhere else and there’s nothing new anymore and blatta yatta blah, but this is a blatant BMW Films rip off, no matter how you spin it.

Say it with me and call it like it is: a fucking rip-off.

It’s billed as a film by Ken Arlidge, a veteran second-unit DP on some pretty major films. He’s shooting for obvious Michael Bay status with all the usual gorgeous bodies and Bad Boyz Lite auto chases and such. Who needs James Brown and Gary Oldman when you have the cast of Survivor. I know I shouldn’t hate, and I know how hard it is to get ideas past the batter client, but this is what I mean when brands see another idea and go “gimmee that too.”

All it does is now confuse your brand with BMW, and in no alternative universe would anyone confuse BMW with Suzuki. Maybe even steal a little ‘mindshare’ from BMW, but all it does is cheapen Suzuki. The BMW idea had actors we knew, an actual story, (not a rehashed-CSI plot with a Pulp Fiction glowing suitcase), and oh, a little thing called ALREADY DID THAT.

Two things could have happened here: Someone on the account thought BMW Films was a cool idea and decided to put their spin on it, or the client thought the BMW Films thing was a cool idea and wanted the agency to put their spin on it. Either way, someone talked themselves into believing that they’ve taken the BMW baton and put their own little spin on it, and made it better.

No, no you didn’t.

It’s clear Arlidge knows his way around a spot, so this isn’t really a knock on him. Brand comes calling with a lot of cash and who could say no, right? But I can hear Ridley and Tony Scott laughing in the background. Find another way next time Suzuki. Stick to making better cars, not rehashing another brand’s spots.

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HighJive said...

Yeah, but at the same time, isn’t it a typical response for both advertising and Hollywood? You see something successful, you copy it. The car category is hardly filled with breakthrough ideas. Suzuki is not exactly doing original work when they copy other advertisers in traditional media (e.g., TV and print). No reason to think they’d fare significantly better by copying a “films” concept. Expect a consumer-generated Suzuki campaign later in 2007.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's fitting they copied it since Suzuki is an imitation of a real car.