Back in the 1990s, Continental Tyre made South African TV viewers squirm in their seats with an anxiety-provoking ad featuring a driver manoeuvring a car around the roof of a Johannesburg skyscraper, highlighting the effectiveness of the tyres’ precision German engineering. Now, M&C Saatchi Abel will be showing how Continental Tyre are ‘the future in motion’ with a daring new campaign based on a brutally simple idea that effectively shows why the tyre brand is one of the world’s best.
Shot in downtown Johannesburg, the campaign features world-renowned free climber, Alain Robert (AKA the Human Spider) who, despite suffering from vertigo, is famed for scaling skyscrapers using no climbing equipment, apart from a small bag of chalk and a pair of climbing shoes. He ascends the 91m IBM Building in an estimated 15 minutes, embodying the superior grip and handling that Continental Tyre’s customers can rely on, regardless of the conditions they encounter.
Robert began his climbing career in 1975 and, at that stage, focused solely on mountains and cliffs, but 25 years ago he decided to turn his talent to buildings, with the very first being the 42-storey Citicorp Center in Chicago. Since then, he has scaled more than 25 skyscrapers around the world, including landmarks like the Eiffel Tower in France, the Sydney Opera House in Australia and the Empire State Building in the United States, along with the world’s tallest building, the 828m Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Even though he has been climbing buildings for over two decades, he still feels nervous before each ascent. The fact that he has fallen several times, breaking multiple bones and even ending up in a coma twice might have something to do with it. “Each time I stand at the bottom of a building, it is pretty much a countdown to my own death, but when I start climbing I am focussed and put all my fears aside. Getting to the top makes me feel like I am born again, because I am conscious throughout my climb that my life is at stake.”
Mark Winkler, Creative Partner at M&C Saatchi Abel, says: “We believe that Alain is the perfect ‘vehicle’ for illustrating Continental’s capabilities and are certain that the campaign will be as captivating as its predecessor, if not more so.”
Cathy Hutchinson, Marketing Manager at Continental Tyre SA (Pty) Ltd shares: “We wanted to show a new generation just what our product is capable of and, at the same time, remind those who had seen our original ad all those years ago that we are still going strong for all the reasons illustrated in that ad. M&C Saatchi Abel completely understood our vision and, through their brutally simple concept, brought this to life in a way that was not only beautiful, but compelling too. We are extremely proud of the result and can’t wait to share it with the world.”
Filming took place on Saturday, the 19th of January 2019 and the final product will air on South African TVs from Monday, the 24th of February 2019, with the first flighting set to take place during Grey’s Anatomy. It will also soon be seen on digital platforms.
For more information, visit http://www.mcsaatchiabel.co.za.