The commercial shows a complete recreation of arguably the most iconic scene in the movie in which the hero, Atreyu, rides Falkor the Luck Dragon for the first time, flying through the air to the never-ending single by Limahl, (you guessed the name) Never Ending Story.
The 30-second spot may not be long on time, but it makes up for its brevity with mountains of pure, uncut childhood nostalgia. Apart from the retro aesthetic of the flashback, the message for this little gem is simple: Limahl’s song is as eternal as its title, streamed at least once by a Spotify user every single day, some 30 odd years later.
To make the Falkor vision a reality, ad juggernaut Wieden + Kennedy spared no expense — and took no shortcuts. The 40-ish man-boy you see riding Falkor is indeed the original actor who played Atreyu in the 1984 film, Noah Hathaway. The company used plenty of makeup to take away the tattoos and other modern affectations of the former child actor to make him look as close as possible to how you’d imagine a modern day Atreyu might appear. The team’s effects specialists than laced together the new shots with footage cut straight from the movie. The company even brought back David Oppenheimer, the original voice of Falkor, to add his bellowing, bordering-on-psychotic laugh to complete the homage to a tee.
In a brilliant move to make Spotify more inclusive and, as Ad Week puts it, start a conversation beyond hard-core music fans, Spotify is mining its mountains of data to find out exactly what will tug on the heartstrings of potential users. The Falkor ad is just one of the themes Spotify dug up to help the streamer appeal to an ever-widening audience, joined by an ad pushing the Flo Rida track My House with a moving theme, and a commercial about nuns rocking out to Pope Francis’ real-life rock album.
Normally, we’re not much for glorifying commercials, but this ad hits home like a railroad spike to the heart. Well played, Spotify, well played.
You can also check out the making-of video for the new ad below.