Sean Kinmont: my MAA blast from the past – VW Polo

My ‘Blast from the Past’ is a gem created by DDB London for VW Polo in 2003. ‘Cops’ is one of those perfect poster ads combining a brilliantly simple idea with humour and real craft. You can’t help but smile at the cluster of cops taking refuge behind the ‘Small but Tough’ Polo.

And it’s thoughtfully constructed. The shoot-out film cliché is one we’ve all seen a million times in American cop movies; we know exactly why they’re hiding behind the car. And I love it that this small German car stands out so clearly amongst the gas guzzlers from Detroit.

But why it really works is that it challenges you; it’s a visual puzzle you have to solve, and by solving it you feel rewarded. We all like that feeling.

Winner of a shelf- full of awards, it’s been parodied by many, including Nissan and Smart, always a sign of a great ad.

Sean Kinmont is creative director and co-founder of independent agency 23red.

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