I love cars-driving them, watching documentaries about them, reading about them, etc. So of course, it was natural for me to seek out a car ad to dissect. If I am going to watch something several times, I should enjoy it right?
I analyzed Audi’s 2013 commercial “Prom”:
I’ve noted elements of “story code” (described here) where I spotted them. Here’s the rundown:
Opens with nervous looking teenage boy staring at his reflection in the mirror. (mystery- why is he nervous?)
Interrupted by his mom ,who pins a corsage on his lapel and tells him he is brave for going to prom by himself (empathy- poor guy!). He isn’t convinced.
As he gets ready to the house, his dad appears and throws him the keys to the car. (mystery: what kind of car will it be?)
Audi headlights turn on, engine growls to a start, kid behind wheel lets loose a bit of a smile. (surprise/revelation)
Pulls up to a limo full of prom goers yelling and screaming, mischievous look crosses teens face.
Peels away from limo at stoplight; next shot is kid pulling into principals parking space at school. Somewhere between home and school he has grown some courage.
Swaggers into school, into gym with a purpose. Face a mixture of nervous determination and devil-may-care. (mystery: What is he thinking? What’s his plan?)
Enters a crowded dance floor, walking through dancing crowds. Spots his “target”, beautiful prom queen in red dress, dancing with friends with her back to him.
Sensing someone is there, prom queen turns and before she can say anything, he…
…plants a kiss on her lips. Crowd who witnesses (surprise/admiration/astonishment- you go teenage boy!). Prom king is not impressed. Prom king begins to approach teen angrily.
Cuts to car being driven quickly over a bridge. Sense of movement. Growl of engine. Cut to interior shot of boy with huge grin and black eye (reveal- so that’s what the prom king did. Admiration, empathy).
He lets out whoop of excitement and accomplishment.
Flash back to love struck prom queen looking longingly after her departed suitor (awe, astonishment, admiration)
Shot follows boy as he drives away, cuts to Audi tail lights, then text on screen: “Bravery. It’s what defines us” (Awe-driving an Audi gives you courage and makes you a bada**)