It comes from the early 2000s, an age before the ol’ political correctness had really taken hold, but interestingly the ad does kind of nod to political correctness.
It’s not at all controversial, but would never be made today. The guy in the ad is too free, too rebellious to be associated with a brand in the age of fear we live in now.
The ad makes you feel at one with the guy – he’s self-deprecating in his appearance and his admissions of being confused. He’s the nonthreatening guy that you can relate to. But he is on a journey to better himself and rebel against the social norms that were emerging at the time.
The car gives him the instant feeling of freedom that we all want. It’s getting him an instant emotional hit that he hopes will push him towards the lifestyle he would like to live – to his core persona. He hopes the car will get him from A to B in more ways that one.
The great ads do one thing above all else – they identify a psycho-graphic and they write for that exact person, with the aim of making that person think ‘AH this is for me!’. This ad isn’t trying to sell to conforming beta-males, it’s targeting younger men who see themselves as individuals going against the grain of the age.
I love this ad. I remember seeing it at the cinema (probably before watching Gladiator) and trying to figure out what it was all about.
The best bit is 8 seconds in - the scene in the dark, with our man running towards the camera. It conveys intensity and a sense of desire - almost like a dreamlike state where he's trying to break free. I'm surprised more ads haven't done this kind of thing since.