December 16, 2020
British automaker Bentley Motors is harnessing the yuletide spirit in its latest advertising campaign by staging a comical Christmas caper to draw attention to its new V8 Flying Spur.
The carmaker’s ad features a witty whodunnit starring Mr. Claus as a mysterious customer who commissions a Spur to organize his Christmas run. The short places the focus on the elegance of the new four-door touring vehicle, with its 4.0 twin-turbocharged V8 engine and striking design.
"This is a cute, unique and very timely video," said Lauren Fix, automotive expert at The Car Coach, Lancaster, NY. "The excitement from the employees is perfect. Nothing but the best for Santa Claus."
The action in short
The footage opens with a shot of Carol Holt, a Bentley product manager, sitting in front of a Christmas tree at the automaker’s headquarters in Crewe in the United Kingdom.
Carol Holt, a Bentley product manager, plays a starring role in the short
“He’s here?” she asks a colleague who has come to fetch her.
“Now?” she continues. “Oh, I’m sorry this is going to have to wait.” She puts a pandemic mask on and rushes out of the room.
The scene soon segues to an interview with Brett Boydell, head of design collaborations at Bentley, from three months earlier.
“We’re used to doing custom paints and bespoke leathers, but this commission is unlike any other,” he says. “He kind of had an idea of what he wanted visually but translating that into something that was fresh and modern really was our greatest challenge.”
As Mr. Boydell narrates, designers behind him in masks are seen at work at computers looking pensively at Bentley models.
From Mr. Boydell and his team, there is another shift in the action and Holly Mason, a Mulliner specialist, appears.
“This car is going to be something else,” she says. “It’s a tight deadline, sure, but we’ll do it.”
The next shot is of a Mr. C. being delicately stitched in gold thread into the red leather of the Flying Spur.
Suddenly, the action pivots again and Ms. Holt returns.
“I like to think unusual requests are our forte,” she says. “If you’ve got a vision, we can bring it to life, she says with an ironic smile.
“He did ask one strange question on the video call,” she continues. “He did ask whether our new Flying Spur actually flew."
Her response? “I told him that yes, it will. All Bentleys do.”
Eventually, the day for the car’s handover to Mr. C. arrives.
“Got the list?” Ms. Holt asks Ms. Mason.
“I’ve checked it. Twice,” she answers. “Night vision. Mood lighting. Remote heating. Snow tires. So, what do you think?"
“Absolutely perfect,” Ms. Holt says, as she pulls up a picture of Santa’s sled.
At last, the Flying Spur is unveiled. Red in color, a small reindeer sits at the front of its long hood and the camera pans across the car’s intricate interior and exterior.
The name Mr. Claus is emblazoned on the red leather of the driver’s seat and snow-covered mountains are painted on the front dashboard.
Ms. Holt hands the keys to Santa and he drives the Spur off the set, with its engine revving as a trail of red lights reaches the sky. “There’s Magic in the Extraordinary,” concludes Bentley in its finale ad.
A bit of history
Owned by Volkswagen, Bentley has put considerable work into the new Flying Spur, which is handcrafted in Crewe. Its debut signals Bentley’s commitment to maintaining its history through the preservation of its traditional designs.
At the Flying Spur's core is their V8 engine which reaches a peak power of 550PS and can hit a maximum torque of 770Nm at just under 200 rpm.
To ratchet up its fuel efficiency, the V8 can shut down four of its eight cylinders. Drivers barely notice such changes as the deactivation takes less time than blinking (see story).
Full production and deliveries of the new Flying Spur V8 have begun (see story).
Compared to the heavier W12 model, the Flying Spur V8 focuses more on the driver and is more agile and fuel-efficient while also emitting fewer carbon dioxide emissions.
The Flying Spur is a flagship car at Bentley and originally launched as the Continental Flying Spur in 2005.
Earlier this year, Bentley hit a milestone with the production of its 40,000th Flying Spur from Crewe (see story).