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Singing in the VW GTI

While looking at some Youtube clips of strange Japanese ads for the Mazda Capella (see here for more details) I couldn’t help but cast my mind back to one of my favorite yet strangest car commercials ever, advertising the VW GTI…

Would this commercial in question convince me to buy a VW GTI? Er…no.

Would this commercial convince me to recommend the VW GTI to friends and family? Well I can’t say that it would.

(Having said that, if you have a spare GTI you want to give to me for my wonderful efforts of automotive journalism, feel free to get in touch..)

Yet in 2005 I was mesmerized by the ghost of Gene Kelly popping and locking while singing in the rain, happily oblivious to the police officer giving his new VW GTI a parking ticket:

To be honest I was more mesmerized by Gene V2 and his amazing way of stylishly getting wet as well as the song (‘Singing in the rain’ by Mint Royale – you can grab it here) than the car parked at the last few seconds but considering the commercial is over 10 years old now and I still remember it, that’s a point to you Volkswagen.

The work that went on into this commercial is pretty amazing too when you discover that yes, that is Gene Kelly’s face hauntingly singing like it did back in 1952…it’s just that three amazing dancers have taken over from the neck down to update Gene’s choreography to post 2000 standards. Thankfully they did this with computer technology and not an idea directed by John Woo…

So we've got Gene's face in a vat here...
So we’ve got Gene’s face in a vat here…

A fantastic write up on when it was being created can be found right here: Images of Kelly, who died in 1996, were taken from the original film and superimposed on the pictures of the new dancers. To make this possible, the production team had to follow the original’s camera moves, positions, heights and lighting so that the Kelly face would match up satisfactorily.

“The process of putting bodies and heads together and things just throws up little issues – small things like lighting or continuity needs to be altered in order to make everything as closely as possible and make it fit,” 

In other words, a huge amount of work. Not that Volkswagen seems to mind going all out for their car commercials with singing dogs and the like…

So what’s your most memorable car commercial? Let me know!


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