Ad of the Day: Dodge

The Charger is tough enough that you'll still be using it to outrun aliens in 2046

Headshot of Tim Nudd

It's the rare commercial that you wish went on longer. But such is the case with this 30-second Dodge Charger spot advertising the Chrysler brand's tie-in with the groundbreaking TV show/video game Defiance.

The Syfy show is a futuristic drama set in 2046 in a city called Defiance, which sits atop the ruins of St. Louis, Mo. Seven unique alien races have arrived on Earth, a development that has thrown humans for a bit of a loop. But not Dodge. As you see in the ad, from Wieden + Kennedy, which begins in the present day and continues to 2046, the Dodge Charger is so tough and versatile that it manages to survive the apocalypse, the invasion and lots of frantic driving by alien-pecked humans. "Only the defiant survive," says the copy at the end.

The show's hero, Joshua Nolan (Grant Bowler), drives a couple of Dodge Chargers, which have been modified a bit to fit the futuristic story line. The cars were directly integrated into the story in this past Monday's episode, the sixth of the first season, becoming major characters. And while there's an element of goofiness in having modern-day vehicles drive through Armageddon and live to tell the tale, there's a gritty, cool factor here too—achieved largely by the nice juxtaposition of the dark, hectic visuals and the soulful, stylish song "Freedom" by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton (which you may recognize from Django Unchained). Ads for video games often pair violence and beauty in this way especially well—here, the fictional premise lets an automaker do the same.

And no wonder it feels like a video-game spot. Defiance is also a massively multiplayer online video game. The show and the game feature interconnected worlds and story lines—the show impacts the game, and the game influences the show. And while the show features the Charger, the game incorporates the Dodge Challenger into the mix.

Dodge and W+K have glimpsed the future before. Maybe we could use the Dart's time machine to go back and make this Charger spot a :60?


Clients: Dodge, Syfy

Project: Dodge Charger | Defiance

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.

Creative Directors: Aaron Allen / Michael Tabtabai / Kevin Jones

Copywriter: Smith Henderson

Art Director: Susan Land

Executive Producer: Corey Bartha

Account Team: Thomas Harvey / Lani Reichenbach / Ramon Cruz

Project Manager: Tamar Berk

Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Susan Hoffman

Agency Executive Producer: Ben Grylewicz

Agency Producer: Jennie Lindstrom / Kirsten Acheson

Business Affairs Director: Amber Lavender

Production Company: MJZ

Director: Nicolai Fuglsig

Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson

Line Producer: James Blom

Director of Photography: Robert Elswit

Editorial Company: Rock, Paper Scissors

Editor: Stewart Reeves

Post Producer: Alexandra Zickerick

Post Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver

VFX Company: Method

VFX Supervisor: Ben Walsh

Executive Producer: Stephanie Gilgar

Head of 2D/Flame Artist: Patrick Ferguson

Producer: Jason Cohon

Coordinator: Nicole Saccardi

Nuke Artists: Alex Gitler / Grady Campbell

Matte Painting: Roger Kupelian / Rich Mahon / Zach Christian

FX Artist: Travis Harkleroad

Tracking: Apirak Kamjan / Rachan Chirattanakornkul

Roto: Kenneth Liu / Scott Crafford

Music+Sound Company: Stimmung

Sound Designer: Gus Koven

Producer: Ceinwyn Clark

Mix Company: Eleven

Mixer: Jeff Payne

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.
Publish date: May 24, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT