Here is, in my mind, the best TV spot ever created. Produced by Doyle Dane Bernbach in 1969, at the height of the remarkable agency's creative power, it typifies the magnificent "Think Small" campaign the agency created for Volkswagen. The primary rule of advertising that was broken: don't touch death...it's the third rail of advertising. Very few have tried again. That's because it's so damned hard to pull off.
What a remarkable concept...a spot narrated by a dead billionaire cynically commenting on the key players in his funeral procession (Roy Grace drew his inspiration from seeing an actual lineup of cars). Iconoclastic idea. Executed flawlesssly. Fabulous casting, a terrific voiceover from a dead man and spectacular camera work, especially the brilliant helicopter shot that concludes the spot--with the Volkswagen Beetle very appropriately trailing the procession.
Praise these people, some in memoriam:
Art director: Roy Grace
Designer: Roy Grace
Copywriter: John Noble
Director: Howard Zieff
Agency producers: Susan Calhoun, Don Trevor
Production studio: Howard Zieff Productions
Cinematographer: Lawrence Williams Jr.
Client: Volkswagen of America