This Heartwarming Ad for Vintage Toys is Absolutely Not Going Where You Think It’s Going

When your inner child wins over your actual one

In this spot for Dallas Vintage Toys by ad agency Dieste, a father helps his young son build a robot costume out of cardboard, old washing-machine hose, aluminum foil and other odds and ends.

Cue the family hug.

But wait! It's only in the first 30 seconds that the narrative zigs into Hallmark Halloween territory, before zagging in an unexpected direction. Enjoy the twist before reading further.

Whoa. So dad's a showoff who went and got an awesome Transformer-esque robo-suit for himself—one that makes his kid's getup look like crap? What the heck is this ad all about?

"It's good to indulge ourselves with what makes us happy from time to time," Dieste executive creative director Ciro Sarmiento tells AdFreak. "Because the nature of the store—collectible vintage toys—breaks traditional conventions, we wanted the film to do the same. It's a toy store, yes, but mostly for the adult inner child."

But now Junior's Halloween is ruined!

"Dad is the hero, not the kid," says Sarmiento. "The difference between the two had to be remarkably unfair, highlighting the gap in a comedic way. The twist makes you realize how good it is to be a grownup and be able to spend your hard-earned money on whatever makes you happy."

Yeah, Dad's costume is pretty rad.

"We got in touch with several artists until finally deciding on this particular one and its operator—yes, the suit comes with an operator," Sarmiento says. "It took almost 45 minutes for the actor to suit up, and about 30 minutes to remove."

It's a memorable spot, and changing gears mid-stream is effective. Even so, the notion of adults satisfying their craving for vintage toys—the raison d'être for the ad's existence—seems a bit muddled. A final shot of robo-dad admiring all those cool collectibles shown in the spot, or playing with the toys in his man cave, might have helped.

Otherwise, there's plenty to say about indulging your inner child: A spot from earlier this week showed us where that leads. Pretty soon, Pops will be quitting his job, burning his clothes and zooming off on a Harley to experience life to the fullest.


Client: Dallas Vintage Toys

Agency: Dieste

Executive Creative Director: Ciro Sarmiento

Associate Creative Director: Damian Nuñez

Sr. Art Director: Francisco Arranz Amaya

Sr. Copywriter: Jose Benitez

Agency Producer: Jose Luis Chavez

Production Company: La Banda Films

Exc. Producer: Roberto Snider

Director: Nicolas Caicoya

Postproduction: Reel FX

Music Studio: Happy Together Music

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
Publish date: October 28, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT