In 2011, as an ascendant Novak Djokovic began to seem unbeatable, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said, “He plays incredible tennis, but he’s not an alien”. Havas Beijing uses the World Number One’s superhuman reputation to comic effect in a new spot for the confusingly named Peugeot 2008.
Peugeot also sells a 3008 and a 5008, so it seems the French automotive maker is simply following convention with the 2008 Crossover SUV. Nevertheless, the name gives the impression that the car is a six-year-old souvenir from the Beijing Olympics. Perhaps it’s to mitigate this confusion that the spot sets Shanghai with a futuristic aesthetic.
Directed by Andreas Grassl, the film, entitled “Play, Totally Different”, begins with luminescent, dancing aliens that you’d expect to see in a Daft Punk video, discovering the 2008 in a forest. They drive the car into Shanghai, including the blue-lit Yan’an Expressway, Nanpu bridge, and the UFO-like Mercedes Benz Arena, emphasize some of the city’s more sci-fi architecture and infrastructure.
Music by TAKE ONE successfully evokes Orson Welles’ radio drama “The War of the Worlds”, which caused hysteria among listeners in 1938 who imagined the story of invading Martians to be reportage of true events. The Peugeot spot has a similar ending, with Djokovic and his two friends removing their alien masks to examine a newspaper headline that reads 《疑似外星人！》 ”Aliens Suspected!”. They laugh at the success of their hoax before Djokovic drives off in the Peugeot 2008, removing his human mask as he goes. Seems he really is superhuman after all.
The spot is a peculiar mix of celebrity talent, humor and slick visuals. Regardless of whether or not you enjoy this humor, the ad demonstrates how shooting at night and using carefully selected locations can make Shanghai look sexy and futuristic instead of hazy and chaotic. The production team also did a great job disguising the fact that the scenes with Djokovic were actually shot in Monaco and in pouring rains, surprise!
Product: Dongfeng Peugeot 2008
Title of the Ad: Play, Totally Different “玩，全不同”
Director: Andreas Grassl
Ad Agency: HAVAS BEIJING
CD/Art Director: YICHENG LUO
Executive Producer: ZHOUZHOU
Production Co: PPI Film
Executive Producer: ALEX CEN
Assistant Producer: BILL WANG
DOP: OLIVER ROLAND MAIER
Editor: CAROLINA PEREIRA CONCHA
Post Production House: CHIMNEY
VFX: Philipp Fehling
Sound/Music Design: TAKE ONE
Location scout: Jason Yu
Talent: Novak Djokovic
Norvak Djokovic on being the embassador for Puegeot