STORY’s Jeff France has directed a new spot
for Prestone and The Richards Group, Dallas, that seeks to assure car owners
that they have no reason to fear the reaper. Prestone has their backs.
Promoting Prestone Coolant and its ability to protect cars
from overheating, Parking
opens on a man walking through the parking lot of an auto parts store
on a hot day with a container of the product. A mammoth, black tow truck,
emblazoned with skull and crossbones, appears behind the man and follows him,
intent on taking his car to its auto graveyard. The Reaper’s plans are foiled,
however, when the man suddenly whips around and confronts the truck with his
Prestone Coolant. Other people, aware of the man’s plight, leap to his side.
They, too, hold Prestone. “The Reaper has no choice,” says France, “but to back
off and find another victim.”

The spot is a sequel to one released last fall that
introduced the character of The Reaper. The new spot pushes the concept of the
auto-death-wielding tow truck further and treats it with a lighter touch. “The
concept plays on the fear, shared by many people, of being stranded in the
summer heat,” France notes. “I immediately fell in love with the idea
of The Reaper.”
France says that he and The Richards Group’s creative team
debated whether to reveal the hero’s container of Prestone at the beginning of
the spot, or save it as a surprise for the end. Their decision, France recalls,
was ultimately suggested by the master of suspense. “Hitchcock would always let
the audience know that there is a bomb under the chair,” he explains. “In
forcing the audience to wait it out, he created suspense. We followed that
point of view.”
France predicts that, while it may have been stymied this
time, The Reaper will be back. “The Richards Group has created an iconic
character that will have very long legs,” he says. “The Reaper is going to be
around for a long, long time.”
STORY is represented is represented on the East Coast by
SuperPowers (646) 633-4578; in the Midwest by Dawn Ratcliffe (312) 491-9194, in
the Southeast by Miller + Associates, (954) 563-6004; in the Southwest by
Gossip!, (214) 288-2813 and on the West Coast by Sherry Howell, (213)
For more information, visit

Title:  Parking
Client:    Prestone
Agency:   The
Richards Group, Dallas. Chuck Schiller, Brand Creative Director; Benji Vega,
Brand Creative Art Director; Andria Kushan, Brand Creative Writer; Paul Nelson;
Agency Producer; David Hall, Principal/Brand Management; Stephanie Williams and
Clarissa Lampertz, Brand Management; Sara Sax, Broadcast Business Affairs.
Production:   STORY.
Jeff France, director; Mark Androw and Cliff Grant, Executive Producers;
Merilee Newman, Producer.

Editorial: 3008
Editorial. Marc Stone, Editor; Anne Strock, Executive Producer.
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