Filmmaker seeks to advertise his used car — ends up creating epic, incisive, Frankensteinian parody of car advertising.
As we all know, car ownership (read: the idealistic version of car ownership depicted in ads) is a ticket to adventure, prestige and a place in the pantheon of self-actualisation. Of course, that adventure usually doesn’t involve transcending the space-time continuum, outwitting a lunging T-Rex, navigating an avalanche and photobombing multiple astronauts in under two minutes.
Really, there’s no way you’re not buying this car. Forget its “trendy” and versatile design — the efficient mileage and durability alone make this 1996 Suzuki Vitara one of the most affordable and reliable used cars, (21-year-old) hotness. This vehicle is the “best friend” you’ve always wanted and — lofty travel goal-setter that you are — desperately need.
The Elements of Successful Video in #BuyMyVitara
In this video, visual artist Eugene Romanovsky not only creatively pokes fun at car advertising, but also creates a smart, convincing film that incorporates all the necessary elements of great video storytelling. His narrative arc, excellent use of visual effects, and strong humorous editorial voice make #BuyMyVitara truly epic. And, at 5.5 million views and counting, the proof is, well, in the views.
1. Narrative Arc
Romanovsky’s advertisement’s lack of narrative coherence and escalating visual pomposity is the whole point.
We’re used to watching sleek new models snake gracefully along Mediterranean coastlines; conquer the deepest puddles and coldest temperatures that the Earth has to offer; and win award after award you’ve never heard of but that seem to confirm the vehicle’s status as superlative in every measurable category.
Romanovsky reels his viewers in and then breaks this illusion by taking common car advertising tropes to their extremes, documenting his car’s journey through outlandish terrain and impossible environments.
2. Visual Effects and Action
Admit it: for the first few seconds you were convinced that this ‘96 Vitara really could zip off-road through lush forests and rocky mountain terrain. Until Romanovsky makes his way to Isla Nublar and Fury Road — or, I suppose, escapes an avalanche unscathed — his (nearly) seamless use of visual effects seamlessly places his Vitara in increasingly impressive locales.
Once the action picks up and the vehicle begins navigating through flaming guitars, dodging the crushing jaws of an extinct super-predator and diving into the ocean, the use of visual effects maintains a sense of cinematic realism. This excellent command of visual effects allows the viewer to suspend her mounting (and justified) disbelief, eliciting the common Youtube commenter refrain of “this is honestly the best ad I’ve ever seen.”
3. Strong Editorial Voice
Using the sort of declarative language and block letters one would expect from an “epic” car ad, Romanovsky flips the script by using them to not only create hyperbole but to undermine it soon after. That purposeful self-sabotage also lends the video a winking humor. Not to mention, it reads like car copy to the end — “#ByeMyVitara” to “#BuyMyVitara” hints at an “out with the old, in with the new” cliche that has come to define car advertising.
In the end, Romanovsky did sell his car — but ironically enough, the Israeli buyer “didn’t see the movie. He saw the car on the street.” So much for the powers of flashy advertising; after all that, the ‘96 Vitara’s curb appeal is what sealed the deal. While we have no idea what the car sold for, we’re fairly confident that Romanovsky got his money’s worth (and enough publicity to make the whole endeavor well worth it).
Cool Video But it Looks Familiar…
Eugene Romanovsky isn’t the only visual artist making unique low-overhead car commercials…one need look no further than Casual’s own Nick Francis and Barnaby Cook for another memorable automotive video experience dating back to 2008. This experiential video series was a lot of things — one might even call it trailblazing.