Gadgets for humans

The next great car ad won’t even feature the actual car

Between sourcing vehicles, securing an appropriate location and actually filming them, car commercials can be pretty expensive and labor-intensive to shoot.

Creative agency The Mill, which has worked with automakers like BMW, Honda and Chevy, aims to make it easier to create content for car ads with the Blackbird, a vehicle with a customizable chassis that can be filmed more easily on location and replaced with CGI versions of actual cars.

To mimic just about any production model in existence, the Blackbird’s wheelbase can be adjusted by up to four feet and and its wheels and suspension can be switched up. Plus, its electric motor can be tuned to match the performance of any drivetrain.

The company says its system can be used to shoot and repurpose video for various kinds of marketing efforts – but it’s not hard to imagine other uses for the Blackbird, like shooting car chases in movies and creating AR experiences for potential customers.

The Blackbird was designed and developed over a period of two years and won The Mill an Innovation Lion award at this year’s Cannes Lions.

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Published June 28, 2016 — 07:19 UTC