World’s best ads ever #66: Skoda rises to a real-time challenge in ‘Baking Of’
We asked our readers to vote for their favorite commercials of all time. Top creatives from the World Creative Rankings and The Drum’s Judges’ Club then ranked the ads. Now, we bring you the definitive 100 best TV and video ads of all time.
Everyone loves cake. Now everyone loves Skoda. Enter ‘Baking of’, an ad that birthed an auto advertising legacy with a four-meter cake car.
The 2007 ad lasts a delicious 60 seconds and was brainstormed by Fallon Worldwide. British director Chris Palmer is no stranger to a car ad, but nothing quite stands out like this cake vehicle. He’s also on our list with Specsavers’ ‘Collie’ [LINK].
Production came from Gorgeous Enterprises, but this shoot was far from straightforward. To make the car, eight people worked for 10 days, molding it together with sponge and Rice Krispies. There’s also marzipan, jelly and Glacier Mints. Syrup starred as motor oil and icing sugar rounded off the Skoda logo.
The spot was memorably scored with Julie Andrews’ My Favorite Things, the star personally granting her permission for its use by the Czech auto firm.
Palmer said to BBC Magazine: “Doing it in real-time was the worst possible way. We didn’t have a practice run, it was all theory up until we had done it. But I’m so glad we did, and that the people in the advert were the people who did it – the model makers were building it for real.”
The idea was reportedly inspired by a slice of cake shared by creative directors John Allison and Chris Bovill on Valentine’s Day. The ad has been priced at £500,000 – probably cheap for such an iconic spot.
It also makes for interesting viewing in the 2020s, where the ‘Is it Cake?’ phenomenon has taken hold of TikTok and sparked a return of ‘cakey’ ads.
The strapline for the ad was ‘Full of Lovely Stuff’, and there is still one fun fact remaining: the cake took so long to assemble and film that it had spoiled upon completion and was a risky snack… not so lovely, but forgivable. It was ultimately donated for composting to a community recycling project in Clapham.