Holden’s 2008 TV commercial to promote the then-new VE Commodore Ute ranks as one of the finest automotive advertising campaigns seen on Australian television.

Five months in the making, it was created by Queensland-based Zoom Film & Television Pty Ltd and directed by Zoom founder Mark Toia. It was shot at various locations in Queensland, including the winding roads around Mount Mee west of Caboolture.

This 60-second visual feast shows some incredible ‘Transformer’ style digital effects, as various Holden ute models from the past evolve into the final VE model, starting with the 1953 FJ ute.

What’s also clever is how the background settings change, so it not only shows the changing Holden models but also captures the changing urban landscapes of Australia at those times. There’s even a tornado!

It’s a real treat for Holden lovers, because you get to see some of GM-H’s most iconic ute models from the past six decades being given the full Hollywood treatment. There’s FJ (1950s) EH (early 1960s) HK (late 1960s) HQ (early 1970s) VU (early 2000s) and of course VE. It’s awesome.

 

Holden Ute ‘Evolution’ TVC: behind the scenes

Making a TV commercial this good requires a big budget and a huge amount of work from a talented bunch of people. The only way to get a true understanding of what it takes is to have a look at what goes on behind the cameras.

This clip whips us through the whole process, from the four-day location shoots to the huge editing processes, using the most sophisticated digital technology to create such stunning visual effects.

Keep an eye out for the huge wind machine powered by a 5.0 litre Holden V8, to create wind speeds of up to 80 km/h to give a realistic look to the tornado scenes.

And the eyeball-spinning sequence at the end, showing the 3D storyboard, offline edit and final master all running together. See if you can also pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time you’re watching this last bit.

 

Chevrolet Silverado ‘Transformation’

And finally, here’s a comparison between Holden’s TV commercial and a similar idea screened before it on US television, promoting the 2007 Chevy Silverado and its Motor Trend magazine’s 2007 Truck Of The Year award.

The Chevy version is shorter and simpler than the Holden version, but the ‘Transformer’ theme that links the two ideas together is obvious. So, Chevrolet may have been first, but which GM division did it better?

 

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