Shot in downtown Johannesburg, the campaign features world-renowned free climber Alain Robert (aka, the ‘Human Spider’) who, despite suffering from vertigo, is famed for scaling skyscrapers using no climbing equipment, apart from a bag of chalk and a pair of climbing shoes.
He ascends the 91m IBM Building in an estimated 15 minutes, embodying the grip and handling of Continental Tyres.
Robert began his climbing career in 1975 and, at that stage, focussed solely on mountains and cliffs. However, 25 years ago, he decided to climb buildings, with the very first being the 42-story Citicorp Center in Chicago in the United States.
Since then, he has scaled more than 25 skyscrapers around the world, including landmarks like the Eiffel Tower in France, the Sydney Opera House in Australia and the Empire State Building in the US, along with the world’s tallest building, the 828m Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
"Each time I stand at the bottom of a building, it is pretty much a countdown to my own death. But when I start climbing, I am focussed and put all my fears aside. Getting to the top makes me feel like I am born again because I am [aware] throughout my climb that my life is at stake," says Robert.
Mark Winkler, creative partner at M&C Saatchi Abel, says, "We believe that Alain is the perfect ‘vehicle’ for illustrating Continental’s capabilities and are certain that the campaign will be as captivating as its predecessor, if not more so."
"We wanted to show a new generation just what our product is capable of and, at the same time, remind those who had seen our original ad all those years ago that we are still going strong for all the reasons illustrated in that ad," says Cathy Hutchinson, marketing manager at Continental Tyre SA (Pty) Ltd.
"M&C Saatchi Abel completely understood our vision and, through their brutally simple concept, brought this to life in a way that was not only beautiful but compelling too. We are extremely proud of the result and can’t wait to share it with the world," adds Hutchinson.
Filming took place on Saturday, 19 January and the final product will air on South African TVs from Monday, 24 February, with the first flighting set to take place during Grey’s Anatomy
. It will also soon be seen on digital platforms.
For more information, visit www.mcsaatchiabel.co.za
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