Midnight runner


The Audi A4 heads to the Ukrainian capital Kiev to film its latest TV commercial,
with Film director Daniel Wolfe

A clapper board is raised in front of the camera – and snaps shut. Over the radio a voice announces in Ukrainianaccented English: ‘And… action.’ Suddenly, an Audi A4 zooms into shot, narrowly skirting shelves of designer lights and lamps. It vanishes around a corner, its brake lights reflecting in the polished marble floor.

   We are on location for Audi’s latest TV commercial, working title ‘quattro Department Store’, which features a star turn by an Audi A4 S line Saloon in Mythos black – though quattro all-wheel drive technology is the real star of the show. The ad sees our four-ringed hero hunting for something in a huge and empty store at night. Each department represents a number of different and unexpected challenges for the car – but of course with quattro these are all easily overcome.

 


‘There’s something hugely romantic about department stores at night – they’re magical, mysterious places’


   As it’s not practical to shoot the commercial in a real department store, the film-makers have created one on location in Kiev. Behind the wheel of the A4 is precision driver Steve Gault.

   Between takes, we thread our way through the set to meet the director Daniel Wolfe. ‘We’ve seen cars in so many different environments in commercials but never in a department store,’ he says. ‘There is something hugely romantic about having the car in a department store at night – they’re magical, mysterious places. It’s also an obstacle course for the quattro to showcase the abilities of the technology, and it’s a bit playful.’

   Heading upstairs, members of the art team are creating a child’s fantasy toy department – there’s a giant castle, a 20-foot-long pirate ship manned by monkeys and a pyramid of stuffed animals. It’s one of six featured departments, which help demonstrate different facets of quattro, such as its performance on ice in the kitchenware department (when freezers spew zillions of ice cubes into its path).

   Back outside, a crane is lifting the A4 50 feet into the air to deposit it onto a platform adjoining the first floor, where a huge window has been removed – the only way to get it in. Work in the lighting department is over; now the adventure in toyland awaits...

   So what’s the A4 looking for in the department store? We won’t spoil the surprise. Suffice to say that, just like quattro, it’s something which comes in handy every day.

Written by Alec Marsh; Photographs by Artem Nadyozhin.

 

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