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Volkswagen throws man and car from plane for latest TV spot

LONDON - Volkswagen is throwing a man out of a plane without a parachute to demonstrate the comfort of its Polo in a new television ad.

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The ad, created by Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town, sees a man flung from an airplane and freefalling 20,000 feet as he attempts to grab a parachute that is falling nearby.

However, the man has a change of heart when he sees a VW Polo falling and he gives up trying for the parachute and freefalls across to the Polo. Once he has manoeuvred himself inside the car, he starts to relax in the front seat before he goes out of shot as the car continues to plummet earthwards.

The "skydiver" spot, which breaks this week in the US, aims to draw attention to the VW Polo's "calming sensation" as demonstrated by the smile on the man's face, despite presumably falling to his death.

The spot uses a collaboration of traditional visual effects with the actor harnessed and suspended from two separate cranes above giant fans to create the illusion of falling.

Cutting-edge technology from special effects agency Radium ensured the actor, parachute, car and background were bled together in a seamless fashion.

The ad was written by Greg Burke, directed by Miles Goodall and produced by Linda Notelovitz at Suburban Films. Post production is from Radium, the US-based company behind special effects for films including 'Spiderman 2' and 'Sin City'.

Jonathan Keet, Radium co-founder/creative director, said: "This kind of shoot was like going back to 1986, there was no other way to get the effects we were going for -- and everyone was on the same page throughout the process.

"We then went in and created 3D matte paintings, one to match the sky we shot in, some we actually shot out the airplane window, plus some stock and CG clouds tracked in. We knew that blending the actor, car and background together in a seamless fashion would be technically difficult, but the end result was beautiful."

The ad was shot in South Africa where it is currently running. It is not yet known whether it will run in other territories.

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