a short chat with Dan, from Lee and Dan (LAD)

Like the rest of the planet we want to know a few things about that Volkswagen Polo terrorist viral (adland post Jan 18), or 'fake' ad, or whatever you want to call it, and Dan kindly humored us with a few answers.

Yes, that Dan, from Lee and Dan (LAD).

So what do we know about this ad? Well, it was shot on 35mm, and ever since it came out the lads phone has been ringing off the hook. Lee and Dan are extremely tightlipped about who furnished them with the cash to film this, but they will tell us that they wrote the script and they worked with a Director named Stuart.

adland: What happens to you if you break your vow of silence?
Dan: .................................

adland: Have you received any death threats or other interesting forms of outrage yet?
Dan: We know a good plastic surgeon.

adland: (I hope you don't mean this one ;).
Is it true that those cars only have teeny-tiny 13 inch wheels?
Dan: I think the one in the film is rollin on 14's.

adland: Was the driver wearing his seatbelt?
Dan: Of course he was!! it's illegal not too!

adland: What is your preferred recreational beverage or substance for creative inspiration?
Dan: A nice cold pint.

adland: What's next?
Dan: Cannes?

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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AnonymousCoward's picture

I haven't got a problem, it's an opinion...I just find it a very cruel joke. It's just a theory but perhaps VW

ernieschenck's picture

Yes, this thing has gotten everyone talking about VW. But is it in a way that's doing this brand any good? Totally not. Again, I have to ask the question. Is the only objective with viral to see how far it can spread and how fast? Seriously, is that it? Just light a match, throw it in the brush and see how fast it burns? I would have thought the content of the message means as much as its virulency. Guess not.

caffeinegoddess's picture

hah! They might need to in order to get some cash in case VW does in fact sue.

Dabitch's picture

maybe you guys could sell your story to Hollywood? ;)

danlad's picture

we haven't won the lottery. any tips? I'm skint

amoeba's picture

I don't know. Probably. I'm trying to buy the "It was spec meant to get us a job" line. People do spec all the time. Crazy spec. Low-budget spec. Maybe they won the lottery and wanted to blow it on this spec job, the idea is crazy enough.

Dabitch's picture

Honestly, so many people (around here in AdLand) are posting comments saying the same thing. Comparing it to the Ogily Cat decapitation ad where the Ogilvy "oh dear, that wasn't meant to be made at all, honestly. That must have jumped off the drawing board, straight into a couple of days of serious (expensive) post production without anyone here knowing about it at all.. " denial only convinced man-on-the-street not the man-in-the-creative dept. Are we the most cynical people on the planet or what?

Dabitch's picture

Ah, I told Jalopniks about the error and they have now corrected their post. Ta-dah!

CopyWhore's picture

Here's the thing: Who's to say VW isn't actually behind this, but feigning indignation and the threat of legal action? This little stunt has the whole advertising industry talking about the brand, not to mention the mainstream press and real people... How often does advertising really become the subject of conversation around the watercooler? Maybe once a year, the day following the Super Bowl? Although VW would never admit it publically if they were, indeed, behind this, it's definitely forced people to pay attention to and discuss the brand -- a response the more conventional VW advertising rarely provokes.

As for Lee and Dan, God bless 'em. Hope they're on the way up that ladder called fame.

What they've really done is produce the old-fashioned kind of irreverent advertising we all wish could still be done in this lamentable age of political correctness.

Hope this spot gets those guys their dream gig.

Dabitch's picture

I wonder about the fact the "we will sue!!" is coming from Volkswagen USA and said to US press (New York Post, AdAge, ETC) but Volkswagen UK - the country where this ad is made remember? - has said nothing of the sort to UK press. Do we have a global courtroom somewhere that I am not aware of? Besides, it just says that they are considering legal action, not that they actually have filed suit. I'll admit that it does grab headlines though.

AnonymousCoward's picture

Lee and Dan: get a grip. Nothing in all this is funny. You've got your 15 minutes of fame...Hopefully that will be all. No more comments.

Neo's picture

deep.ed - you should have bet someone it would happen and gotten RICH!

Next question how many think the threat of suing LAD is part of the grand plan to get more press?

I wouldn\'t put it past them after that Ogilvy/Ford Ka cat decap incident.

Dabitch's picture

Jalopniks post about Volkswagen Disavows Suicide Bomb Ad; Viral Marketing Firm Connected has gotten some tidbits muddled. It reads:

According to digital marketing site, Revolution magazine, the ad was produced by boutique agency, Lee and Dan, which created a now infamous European ad for Ford's SportKa.....

The Viral Factory did the Ford Sports Ka work, see the nominations for the viral awards Best Use of Humour category. Sure perhaps Lee and Dan were involved somehow, but if you check their site there is no Ford work on it. If you created the Ford Ka virals (plural), you'd show it off right? Looks like the confusion stems from the
Revolution magazine where they say: "They have worked on a string of legitimate ads including Ford StreetKa".
This is a Ford StreetKa from the Ka family... Neat little topless number, but not the kind of Ka that decapitated that poor cat. ;)

Dabitch's picture

According to AdAge they are already threatening to sue.

Volkswagen is threatening to take legal action against the makers of a hoax viral commercial featuring a Palestinian suicide bomber driving one of the automaker's Polo cars.

AdAge also mentions Volkswagens "Bollocks" viral from last year, just like caffeinegoddess did.

ernieschenck's picture

They probably won't go through with a lawsuit. But it's possible. I once worked a couple of creatives who pulled something like this. Very unintentional. Nothing at all malicious. Still, they got dragged into court for a long long time. An expensive lesson.

deeped's picture

And how many thinks the German Car will sue LAD?

caffeinegoddess's picture

Seems Lee was willing to break his silence for the MediaGuardian. (free reg req.)

Volkswagen said last night it was outraged by the spoof advert, which became the fifth most talked about item on internet weblogs.

"Volkswagen UK and its agencies strenuously deny that they have any involvement in the creation of a viral advertisement that has been accessible through the internet depicting an explosion taking place inside a Volkswagen Polo," the car maker said in a statement.

One explanation is that the film was created by a maverick advertising wannabe trying to get work from Volkswagen.

...the makers of the film revealed that some distinctively professional techniques had been used: it had been shot on 35mm film, not something an amateur would usually do, and cost

ernieschenck's picture

See, here's the thing. Yes, the spot is funny. And it's done its viral thing. If that was the intent, then it's a success. If that's how you want to measure success. But again, is that the measurement now? As long as it makes us laugh, it's cool? As long as it spreads like wildfire? Doesn't matter what sensitive territories it treads upon? Maybe Lee and Dan could answer that one for us.

deeped's picture

Not funny? The spot was hilarious and the aftermath even more fun. What's your problem?