“Look – it’s a great idea. Sold. But we need the campaign live in 10 days. It’s not possible.”

The timescales should have been enough to worry any professional marketeer or agency bod, but this time, we were otherwise distracted. We had committed to a 10-day turnaround from concept to production and supply, but all our creative team could think about was our impending, cantankerous muse – a prized ‘toro de lidia’, or ‘Spanish fighting bull’ to you and me. We needed our star model to exude pure, thunderous power all while (ideally) staying just on the right side of murderous to allow us to get ‘the shot’.

Let’s roll back a few days. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles had a new product on the horizon, with a distinct USP – the most powerful engine in the mid-sized panel van market. But due to internal communications delays, it was confirmed very late, and was inbound NOW! The commercial vehicle show was a couple of weeks away, national media was reserved… but there was no creative. No problem, as lead-creative agency we work fast. With a flash of inspiration came the idea of using a heaving, muscular bull as the perfect representation of the unprecedented power of the new 180hp Transporter. Sold, it was perfect. But surely there’s no time?


All hands on deck! Storyboards and scripts were followed by production scheduling. Next, find a brave photographer and crew. Done! Next, lighting, pre and post-production, technical, equipment, and EasyJet flights for three, to Madrid, yes for Wednesday thanks. THIS Wednesday. Yep. And a cabana for 2 nights somewhere rural. Oh, and a hire car, please. Then it was just the small matter of Lorenzo, our taurean talent. But our 700kg star was currently a few hour’s drive from Madrid, and with no foresight of his ‘personality’, we ploughed wide-eyed into what might be called an ‘insurance grey-zone’. As it turned out, far from being the murderous beast we all feared, Lorenzo was ready for his close-up like a calm professional – at least there was one on set. We got our money shot. It was a full-on few weeks, but the campaign was built on time and on budget. Advanced orders for the Transporter sold out the entire annual UK allocation within one month. And there was a 20% bump in unprompted product awareness.

A four-week sales smash and a six-month brand uplift all for the price of two weeks’ production pandemonium. And all to the standards demanded by Volkswagen.

Can your current agency deliver that?