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Canadian Super Bowl Ad Puts Viewers (And Their TVs) In The Middle Of A Car Chase

In this ad for Shaw Television, which aired during the Super Bowl in Canada, viewers get closer to the action than is perhaps advisable.

Canadian Super Bowl Ad Puts Viewers (And Their TVs) In The Middle Of A Car Chase

Looks like the guy in the famous Maxell commercial may have gotten off easy. Sure, his home entertainment system mussed his up hair a little, but at least he was never in any danger of being a car chase casualty. The same cannot be said for the daredevil consumers in the latest ad for Shaw Exo cable service.

The ad was created by BBDO Toronto and it aired in Canada during the Super Bowl. Much like that other Canadian Super Bowl ad discussed this week, it can be mentioned right alongside some of the best ads produced stateside. During some kind of illegal exchange that comes off as amusingly generic (so many trenchcoats, so much unintelligible foreign dialogue), the sound of sirens makes everyone hop to attention and head for their cars. It turns out there are some extra passengers on board, though.

A spectacular car chase soon breaks out and each car, including those driven by police, has a sofa chair and a be-hoodied, pajama-panted viewer attached to the roof. In a surreal twist, each viewer has a makeshift living room setting, complete with lamps and plants, mounted to the car, and they look out through the outline of a Shaw television set at the action unfolding before them. Even the police motorcycle unit somehow supports one such consumer.

The puts-you-right-in-the action premise has been explored before, but this chase is filled with well-observed details from run-of-the-mill action movies (somebody at BBDO has clearly seen Tango & Cash one too many times) but at least the viewers in this ad are fans of action movies, so we didn’t have to witness an immersive experience in the Jersey Shore hot tub.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. He has also written for The Awl, Rolling Stone, McSweeney's, and Salon.