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Skoda ‘Meaner Stuff’ advert

Agency: Fallon

Client: Skoda

As Škoda enjoys its strongest year on record, the car manufacturer is launching a new multi-million pound national marketing campaign for the Fabia vRS.

The 12-week campaign, which was bought and planned by MediaCom, is centred around a 60 second TV commercial and will see Škoda unveiling a ‘meaner’ side for the high-performance Fabia vRS.

The new advert will feature a ‘Made of Meaner Stuff’ strapline – a darker twist on the Fabia’s ‘Made of Lovely Stuff’ proposition which was made famous by the 2007 Fabia ‘Cake’ commercial.

Škoda kick-starts the campaign with two versions of the advert – a 30 second commercial will be aired between cult shows such as ‘Takeshi’s Castle’, while the full 60 second advert will go live on mainstream channels including ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and various Sky channels.  

The new campaign also includes national, consumer lifestyle, sports and motoring print advertising as well as a significant schedule of cinema advertising, PR, online, digital and social media activity.

Filmed in Škoda’s native Czech Republic, the advert opens with a shot of a television screen playing the original famous ‘Cake’ ad.  

The ‘lovely’ bakers are, however, soon replaced as the story unfolds to reveal a much tougher, darker and more technologically-enhanced production team who are creating the ‘meaner’ Fabia vRS.

The ‘meaner’ campaign is the brainchild of Škoda and leading advertising agency, Fallon, and sees the original ‘Cake’ creative directors Chris Bovill and John Allison joining forces with acclaimed director Nick Gordon.

Following a similar format to the Fabia ‘Cake’ advert, the new ‘meaner’ vRS campaign now adopts a much darker feel.  Set in a secret location within the Škoda factory, the liquorice, treacle and jelly vehicle components of cake make way for a bone chassis, a snake-powered engine and unorthodox finishing techniques.

“This is one of our biggest campaigns ever in the UK, and designed to engage our brand with new audiences,” said Heidi Cartledge, National Communications Manager at Škoda UK.

“The ‘Made of Meaner Stuff’ advert, combined with our wider campaign activity, will see Škoda reaching a new audience – the younger, cult ‘hot hatch’ demographic in addition to our mainstream and loyal customers.”

Škoda will also be focusing social media activity on channels including Facebook and YouTube.  Developed on behalf of Škoda by archibald ingall stretton, consumers will be encouraged through Facebook, to interact with the campaign by discovering whether they are ‘mean’ or ‘lovely’ to be in with a chance of winning a brand new Fabia or Fabia vRS. They can even encourage their friends to vote on their ‘mean’ or ‘lovely’ status.

A dedicated campaign microsite has been developed where the mean and lovely sides of Škoda collide.  Users can actively explore the differing sides of the Fabia range and will find everything from jelly and lollipops on the lovely side to snakes and lightning on the mean side.

In addition, a purpose-built YouTube channel will be hosting the ad as well as some behind-the-scenes footage which will be added throughout the duration of the campaign.

Building on the initial vRS launch, digital agency, Reading Room, has created an enhanced features gallery and integrated the ‘mean’ look into the Š signature conveyor belt.   

Škoda is also going to be attending Top Gear Live with a live performance of the ad – the production will start with technicians working on the Fabia whilst ‘My favourite things’ plays in the background.

Events will then take a ‘mean’ twist as heavy rock music, red lights and pyrotechnics signify the arrival of the neighbouring production line for the vRS. Chaos then ensues as the two cars start a stunt driving routine demonstrating the merits of the Fabia and the Fabia vRS.

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