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Carmaker Audi tells the story of an adventurer letting his life flash before him in a cinematic new spot created by San Francisco agency Venables Bell & Partners. As the man's loved ones surround him, he reminisces his moments of life and love, races through deserts, and many other adventures.

“I spent my life in motion, relentlessly pushing forward,” the monologue begins, and in a blink you find him dancing with a love in fields of golden grass, and then helping to tear down the Berlin Wall in the next. “I’ve squeezed every drop of juice out of this life,” he says, proudly, almost without regret. “I’m ready for the next.” He flatlines soon after, to the dismay of those surrounding him in his last moments. And then, the roar of Audi’s new RS 5 Coupe brings him back to life, yelling at the agony of a new challenge interrupting what was looking like a peaceful death.

Aisha Hakim, art director at VB&P knew that documenting the life of a legendary man would remind viewers of another very interesting man.

“They have cornered the market of any man who’s considered interesting,” Hakim laughed, “but what sets our hero apart is that even with the large life he lived, it showed himself as an intellectual, someone who’s had his highs and lows.” The clip of him at the Berlin Wall, she feels, is a key part to the hero’s character. “That scene sums up his fearlessness in the face of change, his rebellious heart, but also grounded him in our world. We wanted people to be able to think of him as someone existing in the same world as them, and not as a mythical character.”

The tone of the ad is very different from spots in Audi’s past, which Hakim and Venables credits to director Martin de Thurah. “His ability to create a truly cinematic film is incredible. His vision and attention to detail to the story really brought it to life.”  The three-day shoot took the team and crew to Montecito and Santa Barbara in California, but the deathbed scene, in particular, was filmed on location at a hacienda in Pueblo, Mexico owned by a friend of the director.

Hakim first felt that the resulting spot would be a ride when she arrived on set and saw de Thurah and his director of photography work together. “While we were settling in, we would see Martin and Kasper [Tuxen, director of photography] in a field shooting an unboarded shot.” That very spot turned into the dancing scene you see in the film. “That was the first day and we all looked at each other like, 'wow, this is going to be a rollercoaster'.”

Ken Bracht, Audi’s director of brand marketing, gave his comment on the end result, saying, “A life well lived is something that we all aspire to, but what differentiates our message in ‘Final Breath’ is that we challenge our viewers to expand on how that is defined through cinematic storytelling.”

Hakim, who called the opportunity to work on the spot a “pinch me” moment, agreed, crediting the ability of the client to agree to the direction of the idea. “I love when brands step a little outside their comfort zone, it shows such a depth to their ability to commit to the creative.” Understanding the brand, and its willingness to push what a male-dominated segment the sports car market is, the 3% Next Creative Leader honoree sees that as a major opportunity.

"Audi really cares about the creative," she adds, "and they want to be pushed. I absolutely love I can bring a different point of view to them."

Venables Bell & Partners: Audi of America 'Final Breath'

Agency: Venables Bell & Partners
Client: Audi of America
Date: February 2018
The new spot for Audi by Venables Bell & Partners, 'Final Breath,' tells the story of a man who is content with a life well lived.
The film sees an old man reminiscing about the great moments - his loves, losses and sights of a life full of travel, politics and unique experiences.
Just at the moment he takes his final breath, the protagonist hears the sound of a V6 engine and jolts awake, realizing there is just one experience he’s missed - the thrill of getting behind the wheel of an all-new Audi RS 5 Coupe.
AGENCY: Venables Bell & Partners
Paul Venables - Founder, Chairman - Venables Bell & Partners
Will Mcginness - Executive Creative Director - Venables Bell & Partners
Justin Moore - Creative Director - Venables Bell & Partners
Matt Keats - Creative Director - Venables Bell & Partners
Matt Miller - Creative Director - Venables Bell & Partners
Aisha Hakim - Art Director - Venables Bell & Partners
Jake Reilly -Senior Copywriter - Venables Bell & Partners
Jessica Youssefia - Creative Resource Manager - Venables Bell & Partners
Craig Allen - Director of Integrated Production - Venables Bell & Partners
Matt Flaker - Senior Producer - Venables Bell & Partners
Emily Tarran - Producer - Venables Bell & Partners
David Corns - Head of Brand Management - Venables Bell & Partners
Cara Watson - Group Brand Director - Venables Bell & Partners
Jon Philips - Brand Director - Venables Bell & Partners
Justin Wang - Brand Supervisor - Venables Bell & Partners
Casey Warendorf - Brand Manager - Venables Bell & Partners
Hope Stadulis - Brand Manager - Venables Bell & Partners
Tonia Lowe - Group Strategy Director - Venables Bell & Partners
Uli Kurtenbach - Group Strategy Director - Venables Bell & Partners
Mike Riley - Senior Strategist - Venables Bell & Partners
Quynh-An Phan - Director of Business Affairs - Venables Bell & Partners
Sametta Gbilia - Business Affairs - Venables Bell & Partners
Raquel Bedard - Director of Lumberyard - Venables Bell & Partners
Jeffrey Saunders - MCR Operations Manager - Venables Bell & Partners
Martin De Thurah – Director - EPOCH
Melissa Culligan - Executive Producer - EPOCH
Emily Skinner – Producer - EPOCH
Kasper Tuxen - Director of Photography - EPOCH
Avelino Rodríguez - Managing Director - The Lift
Ixhel Pérez - Head Of Production - The Lift
Fuad Abed Daltón - Producer - The Lift
Stewart Reeves - Editor - Work Editorial
Josh Sasson - Assistant Editor - Work Editorial
Brian Scharwath - Producer - Work Editorial
Marlo Baird - Executive Producer - Work Editorial
Jeff Martin - Producer - 740 Sound
Chris Pinkston - Sound Designer/Mixer - 740 Sound
Enca Kaul - Executive Producer - The Mill LA
Dan Love - Senior Producer - The Mill LA
John Shirley - Post Supervisor - The Mill LA
Jasmine Singh - Post Co-Ordinators - The Mill LA
Jalisa House - Post Co-Ordinators - The Mill LA
Elliott Brennan - Flame - The Mill LA
Krysten Richardson - Flame - The Mill LA
Matthew Dobrez - Flame - The Mill LA
Sam Evenson - Flame - The Mill LA
Shaun Comly - CG Lead - The Mill LA
James Robinson - CG Artists - The Mill LA
Sophie Prince - CG Artists - The Mill LA
Danny Garcia - CG Artists - The Mill LA
Rasha Shalaby - Matte Painting - The Mill LA
Jonathan Sanford - Executive Producer - Human
Craig Deleon - Creative Director - Human
Christopher Kemp - Composer - Human
Sofie Borup - Colorist - Company 3
Alexandra Lubrano - Producer - Company 3
Tags: United States, digital, advertising
2018 Audi RS 5 Coupe Launch: “Final Breath”