Spears & Arrows Goes Full Speed With New Dodge Ad 'Life Lessons,' Featuring Actor Gary Cole Reprising His 'Talladega Nights' Role

Helping to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the classic Will Farrell comedy "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," production company Spears and Arrows and Director Timothy Kendall teamed with agency GSD&M and auto brand Dodge (part of the portfolio of brands offered by leading global automaker and mobility provider Stellantis) on the new “Life Lessons” ad. The spot features actor Gary Cole reprising his role as Reese Bobby and using the ‘road as his classroom’ to impart pearls of wisdom to his young son Ricky Bobby and best friend Cal Naughton, Jr. as they speed from one questionable adventure to another in a Dodge Durango. 


Set to the AC/DC song Shot In The Dark, “Life Lessons” finds Reese speeding through Talladega in 1982 with his young charges hanging on in the backseat as they steal a speed boat, win a drag race, and head for Tijuana – and all while Reese drops hilariously non-sequitur bits of wisdom such as, "just because you grow up, don’t mean you gotta give up” and “life takes 50% bravery and 60% stupidity," spoken as he casually blows up a fireworks stand. 


“Gary is a professional who can make any line of dialogue ring true to character,” Kendall says. “He made things easy by effortlessly nailing the paragraphs of dialog he had, as well as being so down to earth and easy to work with. I remember one moment where I unconsciously gave direction to Gary using the same southern accent he was playing with. Gary just chuckled and said, ‘It’s addictive, isn’t it?’ Everyone on the set found themselves quoting Reese Bobby lines all day. It was a blast!”


Jason Wolk, Founder and Managing Director of Spears & Arrows, found the experience, very rewarding.  


"Working with celebs, minors and stunts poses many challenges but our A-Team crew on the east coast made it all run smooth as silk,” Wolk sats. "I especially enjoyed locking up Sandy Hook, New Jersey — it felt like we were on a backlot with the amount of control and access we had, so, thanks Sandy Hook. But the most gratifying aspect of the shoot was the opportunity to continue working with our loyal clients at GSD&M. Their values of loyalty, ethics and humanity are aligned with Spears & Arrows, and that just makes the job all the more fun and enriching.”


“Life Lessons” began airing in August 2021.

Project: “Life Lessons” (:60, :30)

Airdate: August 2021


Client: Dodge/Stellantis

Head of Advertising Dodge:  John Millar 

Dodge Advertising Manager:  Ashley Dunaj


Agency:  GSD&M

Chief Creative Officer: Jay Russell 

CD/Copy: Barrett Michael 

CD/AD: Greg Wyatt 

CD/AD: Joel Williams  

ACD/Copy: Kevin Lane 

Dir. of Production: Jack Epsteen 

Account Director: Coley Platt 

Account Supervisor: Retha Cioppa 

Product Specialist: Chris Bailey 

Sr Business Affairs Mngr: JJ Gaines 

Project Manager: Kangsan Kim  


Production: Spears & Arrows, Los Angeles

Director: Timothy Kendall

Founder | Managing Director: Jason Wolk

Head of Production:  Craig Houchin

CFO: James Stern

Line Producer:  Jose Barrios

DP:  Sam Chase

1st AD: Kevin Moore

Art Director: Joseph Polacik

Editorial: Cut + Run, Santa Monica, CA
Editor: Frank Effron
Senior Executive Producer: Bebe Baldwin

Producer: Brady Fiero/Jamie Perritt

Sound Design/Mix: TBD Post, Austin, TX
Sound Designer: Dusty Albertz/Brad Engleking 

Music - “Shot in the Dark” by AC/DC 

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