Don’t Believe Everything You See in a Car Commercial - 8th July, 2016

So you see a TV ad for a new Audi or Toyota and you think, wow, that looks fast, agile, good looking and better than everything else out there. After all, you assume the car you’re buying is going to be the same as the one in the ad, right? Well, no. There’s every chance the car in the ad is a Blackbird. But what the hell is a Blackbird?

The Blackbird is the brainchild of American production company The Mill and is a car rig for shooting commercials. It’s an electric car that can be lengthened and widened to meet the dimensions of a client’s car and then re-skinned using CGI. The Blackbird looks like this but by the time all the studio trickery is complete it’ll look like the car of your dreams. All the client needs to supply is the wheels and the image.

So why not just use the actual car for filming? The reasoning given is that cars are not always available for filming and when a car gets a minor facelift they don’t have to film a whole new, expensive ad but rather just change the CGI image on the old ad. It could also be possible that the actual car can’t do all the clever driving stuff that the Blackbird can.  Technically they could make a standard Holden Barina drive like a rally car.

So, does this make you think differently about car ads? Is it misleading? Or do you take TV advertising with a grain of salt anyway?

Check out this video of how it’s all done.

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