HUMMER next week introduces a series of new television ads intended to continue the momentum of the H3 launch and convey some “surprising truths” about that vehicle. The ads play up the H3’s fun factor, while also touting its smaller size, maneuverability, low price and fuel efficiency.
“Escape” tells the story of three office friends who go to great lengths to escape the daily grind of their cubicle-filled office on a quest for fun outdoors in their HUMMER H3. The spot was inspired by the epic 1963 adventure film "The Great Escape," featuring the legendary Steve McQueen. Movie aficionados will recognize tributes to the film, including the use of the movie’s original music score and an appearance by McQueen’s son.
“The goal of ‘Escape’ was to show how the H3 inspires people to break free from their hectic and confined daily routine,” explains Megan Stooke, HUMMER marketing director. “Anyone who works in an office environment can see themselves in these characters’ shoes, and may aspire to be more adventurous from time to time. The H3 owner knows how much more is out there in life and is compelled to explore beyond everyday horizons – they can’t be confined by physical and mental boundaries.”
Those with a keen eye will be amused by details in the ad which show the desk jockeys’ resourcefulness – their escape tools were fashioned from everyday office supplies. A dummy made of envelopes with a box for a head and staplers for hands sits at a desk, so as not to draw attention to one worker’s absence. The three covertly exit their office through the ceiling, on a ladder made only of pencils, paper clips and rubber bands. They slither through the overhead air vents on creepers (the type used by auto mechanics) made of folding chairs on roller wheels, using packs of pencils as oars to propel themselves along.
In the end, the trio flees the oppression of their office building and makes a desperate sprint for a black H3. Fred McQueen plays a guard at a security booth who witnesses the escape. The tagline “Escape Greatly” plays off the movie’s title. “Escape” begins airing on premium network and cable programs across the U.S. on August 14.
“It’s Not Magic” uses humor to illustrate some “surprising truths” about the H3. This campaign will consist of several TV spots and broadband streaming video. The first four spots “Parking Garage,” “Home,” “Briefcase” and “Gas Station” air nationwide on August 17. The broadband video aspect of the campaign will launch later this month.
“It’s Not Magic” seeks to dispel myths surrounding the H3 – reinforcing that it is smaller, more affordable, easy to maneuver and is better than or comparable to other midsize SUV’s in its fuel efficiency. All of the TV ads feature an illusionist who tries to make the ordinary acts of parking a truck and passing a gas station into impressive feats of magic. The viewing audience is let in on the joke as the title cards reveal, “It’s not magic. It’s the midsize H3.”
The magician featured in the spots is Daniel Chesterfield, a character created by Chris Van den Durpel, a celebrated Belgian comedian. The character of Chesterfield pokes fun at the overtly dramatic performances of professional magicians. He is frequently featured on Van den Durpel’s TV show “Chris & co.” in Belgium.
“Parking Garage” and “Home” show off the H3’s smaller size, as it easily maneuvers into a low-clearance parking structure and small home garage. Chesterfield wildly gestures as the H3 parks, as if he is working his magic to allow the H3 to fit into these limited spaces. In reality, the truck is simply an efficient size that allows it to manage these “feats” without difficulty.
“Briefcase” shows Chesterfield magically transforming a briefcase full of (not so much) money into a Victory Red H3. “Gas Station” demonstrates the H3’s surprising fuel efficiency, showing it bypass a gas station without stopping for fuel, again with the feigned assistance of Chesterfield ’s magic. The H3 gets up to 20 miles per gallon on the highway. All of the new HUMMER TV spots were created by Modernista! of Boston. Modernista has been HUMMER’s agency since 2001.