Ad Nut
Jan 2, 2024

Singapore adds urgency to adopting EVs with thriller campaign film

The film by TSLA for the Land Transport Authority follows a man on seemingly desperate mission to save his family on one electric vehicle charge.

As you might guess, squirrels love a good chase.  In fact, one of the rare times that humans pay us any attention is when two of us are involved in a good old-fashioned high-speed chase, bounding over the ground, spinning around trunks, zipping along branches, and leaping to adjacent trees. 

Looking down at the humans staring up from their mobiles in wonder, one suspects they're not merely interested in who will win the chase but trying to figure out what has caused us squirrels to relentlessly pursue one another: Are squirrels just playing? Did one steal a nut from the other who is hellbent on revenge? Or did one squirrel initially suspect that the other stole a nut but by the end of the chase, realise that, in fact, it wasn't the case, and it was the first who, in fact, went a little nuts on adrenaline but nonetheless was thankful for the exercise. 

Ad Nut begins with this lengthy preamble in order to set up the latest film from The Secret Little Agency (TSLA) on behalf of Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA), which plotwise fits Ad Nut's final chase scenario very well.

If you haven't yet already, please watch the above film now, as this is a spoiler alert for what follows.

Upon viewing it for the first time, one thinks the film is an action movie trailer about a kidnapping. A man getting a call from his mum hears a male voice telling him he has his mother and, if he does what he says, may be able to see her. 

The panicked man jumps into his electric vehicle and sets off on a mad chase from one end of the city to the other, following the demands of the male voice—picking up parcels and children as instructed while the car's battery charge continues to drop amid a seemingly life or death situation. Will the charge last long enough for him to finish in time? Desperately arriving at the meeting point by evening, he finds his mother enjoying the company of her companion innocently asking if her son has done all her errands and then laughs in his face. 

At this point, if the son were a squirrel, you can bet there would be a second chase since Ad Nut would be fuming if tricked into a day full of needlessly panicked work and squirrels have no moral apprehension about chasing their moms around. 

In the film, however, the gag is up. It all ends here. The man has unknowingly demonstrated just how far one can go on a single charge and we are told to make the switch to electric vehicles and are supplied with the LTA's EV website page.

Is the plot farfetched in hindsight? Sure. The guy must have wondered why shopping for mom's favourite groceries was so critical for her apparent kidnapper. But just like movies with a twist can seem ridiculous in hindsight (hello, Sixth Sense), the audience forgives this if they're genuinely tricked and they're entertained throughout. In this work, the execution was up to the task. It feels like an action film trailer throughout. 

Does it give you enough to make you want to switch to an EV? Probably not. But this is one part of the LTA's 'Power Every Move' campaign, building on earlier work (see below) that impressed Singaporeans with how EVs are much like other life improvement advancements over time.

Other information needed to make the change would be getting the real goods on costs, charging infrastructure and safety, which is all available on the LTA website. But what this film does do is address key questions in the back of many car owners' minds: Is an EV more susceptible to losing power than a gasoline-powered vehicle? How far can I go on one charge if needed? And can EVs provide high performance when called on?

What it doesn't address is how quickly a family relationship loses steam and performs under duress from cruel jokes. 

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


Campaign Asia

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