GOODBY SILVERSTEIN & PARTNERS, San Francisco / BMW / 2019
Write a short summary of what happens in the film
“Legend” is an epic poem read by Hollywood actor Chris Pine that tells the legend of mysterious Ol’ McLanden. As this enigmatic folktale unfolds, McLanden braves the challenges of cityscapes, dockyards, mountains and more, conquering everyday obstacles—although these hurdles are blown up to mythical proportions. In this world Wall Street is turned into a stampede of bankers; potholes are turned into a collapsing bridge; bikers are turned into a Mad Max–inspired gang, and a regular road worker is turned into mythical Poseidon. And while the commercial is set in the present day, the poem has an old-timey tone. The final reveal is suitably modern, showing that a hero can be any one of us. Despite what most people assume, McLanden is a woman. And it becomes clear that “Legend” depicts a day in her life as she leaves work, picks up her kids at school and heads home.
Cultural/Context information for the jury
We wanted to create awareness of BMW’s first-ever X7—the company’s biggest model yet and its first seven-seat vehicle. Our target audience included families making over US$250,000 whose next vehicle purchases were likely to be SUVs. Since the X7 is a family car, women outnumbered men (55/45) in making the purchase decision. At a time of superhero blockbusters, when women are finally and slowly getting the representation they deserve, we created a folk hero for the modern age. The legend of Ol’ McLanden is an epic poem in which a mysterious, unstoppable character braves the challenges of an everyday commute, including cityscapes, dockyards and mountains, only these hurdles are blown up to mythical proportions. The final reveal shows each one of us how biased we are, revealing to most viewers’ surprise, that Ol’ McLanden is actually a woman.
Provide the full film script in English.
Open on an enormous Wall Street–type of bank, monstrous in size and severity. The streets are empty. A cloud of smoke or fog adds drama to the scene. Suddenly, the X7 breaks through the fog, shining heroically. We see the license plate, which reads, “McLanden.”
VO: Have you heard the legend of Ol’ McLanden,
Who battled the bulls of the bank single-handed?
A stampede of intense bankers emerges from the smoke on both sides of the X7, in hot pursuit. We hear rugged hoof prints on the stone street and catch a glimpse of an intimidating bull among the bankers.
VO: Then evaded the waves that Poseidon had conjured
Suddenly, a tidal wave gushes into the street. We find a large, weathered city worker with a long
beard and mermaid tattoo working on a fire hydrant with his massive, almost Thor-like wrench.
The X7 navigates the waves as well.
VO: Then wrangled the gangs of the docks by the dozen
The X7 passes a dock filled with burly fishermen with exaggerated sneers. These “gangs” step back into the shadows, intimidated as the X7 crosses the waterfront.
VO: And yea, Ol’ McLanden beat Roy the Destroyer
The X7 maneuvers around a giant muscle-bound man jackhammering on the street.
VO: And outwitted the genius and his fiendish lawyer
A massive businessman steps in front of the car while talking on his cell phone, followed by a tall, pale fellow with a briefcase. A flock of crows fills the sky around the lawyer in a flurry. The pristine X7 emerges unscathed.
VO: Then outraced the rogues around Razorback Ridge
And the trolls who dug holes under Barnaby Bridge
On a rocky cliff the X7 passes a gnarly gang of motorcyclists with images of warthogs painted on their bikes. The bikers pop wheelies and grunt around the X7 in an attempt to intimidate McLanden, but the superior vehicle powers past them. Next, the X7 slaloms around deep holes under a bridge. As the gang is about to catch up with the X7, the bridge collapses, and the X7 drives away, unscathed.
VO: McLanded venture where most men won’t wonder.
To rescue the runaways from the headmaster’s monster
We cut to a haunted building with a hundred-foot gate. A menacing headmaster, holding a monstrous and ferocious dog, snarls at four kids as they escape through the gate. They wear school uniforms and the X7 appears in a timely fashion. They jump into the safety of the backseat and the X7 speeds off again, and begins to climb an impossibly steep, treacherous hill.
VO: McLanden will surely be praised by the poets
For enduring such dangers with humble heroics
The X7 powers past fantastic boulders, inclines, and uneven terrain. It drives past a sculptor chiseling the name “McLanden” and a face into a rock cliff, like an ancient Mount Rushmore. He looks on in admiration as the X7 passes in the distance.
VO: I sure would’ve loved to see her that fine hour
And perhaps catch a glimpse of the source of her power.
We finally see Ol’ McLanden behind the wheel. She is a strong, but ordinary woman in her late 40’s. Cut to a wide shot of the X7 arriving at an extravagant event at a luxurious museum or mansion. Two cellists play their oversized cellos on the shiny marble steps. The X7 shines under the heroic lights from the event.
VO: Make every day legendary
CARD: BMW. The Ultimate Driving Machine.®
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