Select Page

The Heist of Humour in Commercials

Fictional and non-fictional stories about heists and robberies have been popular film themes ever since Director, Writer and Producer Jack Fawley’s iconic 1904 silent-movie hit about a successful bank heist titled, ‘The Bold Bank Robbery’.

For advertising communication creatives and commercial filmmakers, as the featured examples show, heists are a continuing filmic theme for entertaining spoofs and dramatised parodies.

1. Hard Rock, The Heist

Advertising Agency: VaynerMedia, New York, USA

The commercial, for the 2020 Super Bowl games at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, was directed by Michael Bay, and stars Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, DJ Khaled, and Miami rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer, Pitbull.

The entertainingly brazen ‘Heist’ of Jennifer Lopez’s diamond coffee cup, was filmed on location at the Guitar Hotel at Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida.

2. Porche Taycan, The Heist

Advertising Agency: Cramer-Krasselt, Los Angeles, USA

The stealthy ‘Heist’ of an electric Porche Taycan by a ‘ninja’ and the ensuing high speed chase is full of surprising vignettes, with an amusing twist to the story.

The cinematic commercial was directed by Wayne McClammy and filmed on location in the Neckar River-town of Heidelberg, the fabled Black Forest, and the Porche Headquaters in the Zuffenhausen district of Stuttgart.

3. Quibi, Bank Heist

Advertising Agency: BBH, Los Angeles, USA

Launched in April 2020, Quibi is an American short-form, mobile video platform, founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

Quibi’s home page claims that quick bites of captivating mobile entertainment have been designed by the best talent, to fit perfectly into any moment of your day.

Directed by Tom Kuntz, 2020 Super Bowl Quibi commercial, is about a bank heist that leaves the robbers with 4 to 10 minutes to make their getaway.

Just enough time to be distracted by Quibi and for things to go wrong.

4. Adobe Experience Cloud, Bank Heist

Advertising Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, USA

Directed by Steve Rodgers, the commercial is an effectively humorous demonstration of how great online facilitated customer service can make a potentially really bad situation turn out amazingly right even under the most challenging of circumstances.

5. Audi S Line, The Heist

Advertising Agency: Thjnk, Berlin, Germany

Directed by famed Hollywood director Paul WS Anderson, this action-packed story was filmed on location in Johannesburg, South Africa. Great direction and skillful editing makes this epic adventure a thrilling viewing experience.

Abseiling from a Chinook Helicopter, thieves hijack a moving car transporter carrying Audi’s latest S Line models. Thanks to the S Line online tracking systems police are able to track the coup perpetrators’ destination with their hijacked payload to a location in an aircraft hanger.

6. Samsung Frame TV, Worldwide Art Heist

Advertising Agency: Adam&Eve/DDB, London, UK

Directed by Gary Freedman, the online commercial scenario for Samsung’s technological advanced QLED Frame TV is about prized artworks from around the world that suddenly go missing.

The fun analogous ‘Heists’ of gallery masterpieces from their frames to Samsung Frame TV screens in one’s home, where they can be viewed at leisure, in infinite QLED detail, long after gallery closing hours, is a rewarding watch.

7. Samsung Frame TV, Albertina Museum Masterpiece Heist

The Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria, founded in 1776, houses one of the most important art collections of the world that include masterpieces by Da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Durer, Rembrandt, Monet and Picasso.

The museum partnered with Samsung for this brand activation experiment and filmed the reactions of gallery viewers with hidden cameras.

Encouraged by the positive engagement of intrigued Albertina visitors, Samsung has decided to extend their experimental activation to other world famous Art Museums and Galleries.

8. Toyota Prius, Bank Heist

Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Los Angeles, USA

Film Director: Lance Acord

Aired during the 2016 Super Bowl live broadcast, Toyota’s Prius commercial for the world’s best selling Hybrid, titled ‘The longest Chase’, was a huge hit with TV viewers, many of whom gave it a thumbs-up as; “Best Ad of The Games”.

The soundtrack to the entertaining high-drama of the bank robbers’ get-away, features the hit, ‘Jump on it!’ by The Sugerhill Gang.


To the delight of thousands of viewers, the chase continued after the games with a sequel commercial.

9. Carlton Draught, Beer Chase

Advertising Agency: Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne, Australia

This humorous spoof of a typical Hollywood, L.A. cops chase scene, superbly directed by Steve Ayson, is one of my all time favourite beer commercials.

10. Axos Bank, Insider Heist

Advertising Agency: Cutwater, San Francisco, California, USA

This amusing story, directed by Craig Brownrigg, depicts an analogous scenario of the distrust people generally have of banks, believing that they are often ’robbed’ by fees that are carefully hidden in the fine print.

Axos Bank’s campaign message is that they are committed to providing honest, hassle free and supportive entrepreneurial banking services and customer engagements.