A Dog Dreams of His Old Life in Cars in Amusing Quarantine Ad
Aww, does the good doggie want to go for a ride? Yes, he does! Yes, he does!
Tukker the puppet pooch takes unkempt canine cuteness to an outrageous level in "Shaggy Dog Story," a charming :50 from Britain's Automobile Association, agency adam&eveDDB and MJZ directors The Perlorian Brothers (aka Michael Gelfand and Ian Letts).
Trapped at home during lockdown, the precocious pup blasts some road music, turns up the fan and imagines he's tooling around with the breeze blowing back his floof:
Let's hope Tukker's heading for the groomers to get a post-quarantine 'do. Who needs a haircut? Does doggie need a haircut!?
Well, yeah. Clearly, he's all shagged out.
The ad ends with the line, "Love that feeling? We'll get you back on the road," reminding Brits that the AA stands ready to provide car insurance plus a range of motoring services as they venture out into the world again.
"The audience is people in the U.K. who own a car. That's roughly 31,654,323 people," says adam&eveDDB executive creative director Ben Tollett. "We needed a concept that would appeal to as many of them as possible. Cue the nation's favorite animal. If we hadn't gone with the dog, we'd have had to find something else with mass appeal, like a baby or a horse."
Brands put babies in ads now? New normal, indeed.
Agency creatives Matt Woolner and Steve Wioland generated the shaggy-dog concept. "The guys took inspiration from lockdown and came up with a great script listing all the ways people could pretend to go for a drive if they were stuck at home," Tollett recalls. "There was one scene with a dog and a fan which made us smile more than the rest. So, we decided to make a whole spot out of it."
Weighing in at 10 pounds, Tukker takes his name from the band Sofi Tukker, which provides the jaunty soundtrack. His 3-D printed resin frame, covered in wool yarn, wasn't based on a specific breed.
Two puppeteers controlled the action using 16 wires. They wagged Tukker's tail by hand.
"It was state-of-the-art Latvian puppet technology—but state-of-the-art hasn't changed a great deal in the past 200 years," the Perlorians tell Muse.
"We received the brief exactly one month ago today, and the production process was a little under three weeks, all told," the Perlorians say. "The challenge of #TheseUncertainTimes is coming up with concepts that are executable under very severe production limitations. The challenge for us was to find a place that had managed the pandemic well enough to allow for a functional film shoot, with precautions, and a place that was also a center of excellence in the art of puppetry. After looking through the puppetry capitals of central Europe, we looked north to Riga, Latvia, where we discovered a rich heritage of storytelling through marionettes."
Working with puppeteers Santa Didžus and Dana Lāce and "a resourceful and crafty art department assembled by our friends at [local production firm] The Chubby Unicorn, we brought this shaggy dog to life—with many hours of R&D and puppetry practice that resembled physiotherapy as he learned to walk, DJ a turntable, switch on a small appliance, tap to the beat, and wear cool shades like a boss," the directors say.
The campaign broke during Monday's Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Southhampton, and will also appear on Coronation Street, Gogglebox and The Great British Bake Off. Digital, out-of-home and radio elements are also in the mix.
The Automobile Association
Group Marketing Director: Tracy Abraham
Head of Brand Marketing: Will Harrison
Senior Marketing Manager: Ria Purser
Senior Marketing Manager – Media: Alexander Brown
Marketing Executive: Nikita Marlow
Group Executive Creative Director: Ben Tollett
Chief Creative Officer: Richard Brim
Managing Director: Paul Billingsley
Copywriter: Matt Woolner
Art director: Steve Wioland
Social creative: Lauren Booty
Agency producer/s: Charles Woodall, Stephen Mead
Planning Partner: Heather Alderson
Senior Planner: Claire Strickett
Business Director: Victoria Ellis
Account Director: Lesley Smith
Account Manager: Megan Hill
Business Affairs: Gemma Davies, Martin Eels
Design Agency: King Henry
Designer/Typographer: Olly Watts
Artwork: Dave Callow
Animator: Ed Christie
Media agency: Goodstuff, Brainlabs & The Specialist Works
Media planner/s: Izzy Rhys-Davies, Hannah Brady, Hamish Kydd, Joe Wood, Lucy Cook, Carly Shrubb, Sara Gonzalez, Paul Sweeney, Robert McGovern, Victoria Stroud
Production company: MJZ
Producer: Alicia Richards
Director: The Perlorian Brothers
Puppeteer: Santa Didžus & Dana Lāce
Production Designer: Juris Zukovskis
Cinematographer: Jānis Jurkovskis
D.O.P: Jānis Jurkovskis
Editing Company: Trim
Editor: Dominic Leung
Post Production: ETC
Post Producer: Jon Purton
VFX Supervisor: Giles Cheetham
Colorist: Luke Morrison
Music Supervisor: Tom Stanford @ Theodore
Audio Post Production: Factory
Soundtrack name and composer: "Drinkee" by Sofi Tukker
Photographer: James Day & Martins Cirulis
Print Producer: Siobhan Squire
Latvian Producers: Dace Siatkovska, Kristele Pudane, Chubby Unicorn, Riga