An Overworked Dad Becomes a Tireless Hero in This Touching Chinese Ad for BMW

Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai brings a child's imagination to life

Stuck in meetings? Or trapped by villains? This dad can fight through either. Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai

A beautiful new short film from BMW China and Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai is celebrating a special kind of superhero: hardworking dads.

The 15-minute video tells the story of a businessman and his family. His young son, frustrated with his father’s long hours and late nights at the office, grasps for understanding. But the boy, gifted with a vivid imagination, doesn’t take long to cook up mythic scenarios to explain his father’s absence.

A benevolent coworker turns into an evil queen, demanding all of his father’s time. A client presentation turns into a kung-fu brawl. And—because it’s a car commercial, after all—the dad’s scramble to make it to the son’s school play on time becomes an epic car chase, including a dramatic off-road leg where he has to dodge enemies including a pair of attack helicopters shooting missiles at him from the sky.

Overall, it’s a bit long. But it’s surprisingly powerful nonetheless—well written and well produced. Eventually, the kid, who starts out a little surly about the whole scenario, turns out to be full of admiration, delivering a touchingly compassionate speech about his dad. In the end, the ad perfectly captures the complicated ways in which parents can loom larger than life to their children, and could ultimately rival a Thai shampoo commercial for its ability to tug at the viewer’s heartstrings.

Tied to the launch of the automaker’s new X3 SUV, it also does a fine job of selling the car—weaving in obligatory shots of the car’s features. More importantly, it succeeds in lionizing its target demographic—turning their mundane struggles into sacred ones worthy of celebration—because even though that client meeting isn’t quite the same as fighting off a gang of thugs, when your kid’s well-being is on the line, it sure might feel like it.

Executive Creative Directors: Ian Toombs and Vivian Yong
Creative Directors : Minhao Lu and Okan Usta
Art Directors : Justin Phang
Chinese Copywriters : Liu Wei, Lance Lian and Alex Zhang
Head of Production : Sanne Drogtrop
Production Manager : Bernice Wong
Digital Producer :Xiong Xiong
Senior Planner:David Lin
Planner : Elaine Huang and Peter Shao
Account Director : Jason Wang
Account Manager : Mandy Lin
Account Executive : Laura Yu
Head of Project Manager : Nicole Bee
Project Manager : Olivia Yuan
Business Affairs : Jessica Deng
Head of Design : Fish Ho
Production House: The Loft Films
Executive Producer: Lem Geok Choo and Magne Lynger
Producer : Peichuan Tsai and Ye He
Production Manager : Weiche Chang and Yushu Liu
Director : Martin Werner
Assistant Director: Robert Jonathan Diment and Qing Gui
Story Creative: Vivian Yong, Ian Toombs, Minhao Lu and Okan Usta
Script Writer: Minhao Lu, Okan Usta and Yirou He
Director of Photography: Daniel Voldheim
Focus Puller: Gang Yan and Bencong Kang
Editor: Olivier Bugge Coutté, Pang Wei Fong and Lim Fan Fan
Musician and Composer: Karl Håkan and Bertil Eriksson
Art Director: Poliang Wu
Special Wardrobe Stylist: Shouhsiang Liu
Wardrobe Stylist: Hsiuwei Lin
Hair and Make-up Stylist: Mingyu Tsai
Casting Director : Ying Sheng
Casting Assistant : Ling Lin
Gaffer : Guobin Huang
Behind the Scene : Bo Hai
Property Master : Guowu Guan
Sound Recording: Bin Chen
Location Manager: Jijun Feng
Digital Colorist:Nikola Stefanovic (MPC Shanghai)
Visual Effect: Volt Shanghai
Mark Zhao starring Jun Ma
Jia Song starring Jing Wang
Yunhao Kou starring Dong Dong
Yuanbaizihui starring Dong Dong Mom
Special Starring: The All-New BMW X3
Kindergarten Teacher: Wei Liu
Boss: Xiujun Du
Special Forces: Haofei Li, Cheng Cheng, Youbu A Zhi, Leihan Zhang and Junhao Lai
Kidnappers: Weimin Zhang and Yaze Li
Hostage: Ningxue Yin
Other Kids: Yitong Sun, Rubing Qian, Chenzhou Liu, Xihan Chen and Haohan Bai
Kung Fu Masters: Yuechao Sun, Tong Li, Lu Li, Deming Feng, Ronghua Cheng, Cheng Peng, Chaoqun Wang, Wei Wang, Gongke Li, Jiabao Li, Wenshuo Zhou, Qitai Li and Zhanpeng Gong
Clients: Yuezhong Lin, Ninghai Zhao and Haiming Wu
Designer: Fan He
Marketing Director: Jessica Sinn
PR Manager: Rachel Xiao
Visual Support: Fortune Star Studio


@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.