ZF Aftermarket

The leading technology innovators wanted to humanise their offering and illustrate how their groundbreaking products filtered through as benefits to the end users, without the end user even realising.

I was asked to bring the script to life through a number of storyboards, with each frame emphasising the magic of a childs imagination.

ZF Aftermarket – We open on a little girl in her bedroom. It is evening. She is in her pyjamas and ready for bed, and is now getting her dolly and Teddy into their pyjamas and ready for bed, too.
– She lifts Teddy’s mouth to her ear. ‘What’s that, Teddy? You want a story?’
ZF Aftermarket – Teddy nods. She settles Teddy into bed.
‘I’ll tell you all about…’  She thinks. She sees a superhero comic book on the floor and gets an idea. ‘…a superhero.’
ZF Aftermarket – She turns to look at a picture of her Dad on the wall and gets another idea. ‘My daddy.’
ZF Aftermarket – We zoom into the comic book. The superhero on the cover turns into her Dad.
ZF Aftermarket – She turns the page. Inside, another illustration of Dad, stepping from a train into a desert, surrounded by swirling sands…
ZF Aftermarket – We see Dad enjoying the journey as the train speeds across the desert. ‘He fixed a train and made it safe to go on its journey all the way across the desert…’
ZF Aftermarket – She looks around the room for inspiration and sees the frieze on the wall showing boats on the waves. ‘He helped a ship travel across the widest ocean…’
– Close up on the frieze. The waves and the boat upon it begin to move. We cut to Dad standing at the prow of a cargo ship, crashing through the waves…
ZF Aftermarket – She is on a roll now, taking inspiration from everything she sees…
– She looks up at the ceiling and sees the circling stars and moons projected by her nightlight.
ZF Aftermarket – Close up on Teddy, looking up at the ceiling. We see the twinkling lights reflected in one of his glassy eyes. It is as if Teddy, as well as the girl, is imagining the story.
ZF Aftermarket – Mix to the twinkling lights of a city. Cut to Dad, looking down from a hill at the scene. Teddy is standing by his side, looing down proudly at the cityscape.
‘He filled a whole city with light… just by using the power of the wind…’
ZF Aftermarket – Cut back to the girl’s bedroom. Dolly’s hair is blowing in the wind. The girl is pointing a fan at her. ‘He loves adventure… so he knows about motorbikes.’
– Cut to Dad on a motorbike, with Dolly on the back seat, her hair blowing on the wind, Easy Rider-style. As with Teddy, it is as if Dolly, as well as the girl, is imagining the story.
ZF Aftermarket ‘It’s his job to keep everyone safe.’
– They see someone step out in front of a passenger car, which brakes to stop.
‘He was invisible. A lot of superheroes are. But he was there. He kept them safe.’
ZF Aftermarket – Cut back to the girl in her room. She looks up at the framed picture that says, ‘DREAM BIG’.
‘My Dad has big ideas.’
ZF Aftermarket – As she speaks she puts on her toy space helmet. ‘He’s seen the future and he says it’s very exciting…’
– She closes the visor and presses a button on a toy space communicator. All three – the girl, Dolly and Teddy – disappear…
ZF Aftermarket – …and reappear in the back seat of a car.
– The girl lifts her visor. They are in an electric car of the future with Dad at the wheel. Strobe lighting effects make it look as though the car is driving through a space tunnel.
ZF Aftermarket – Cut to an instrument panel on the car showing OPENMATICS data.
‘…he understands computer programmes that know everything…’
ZF Aftermarket – Cut to Dad standing in the road in front of a speeding bus with his palm extended.
‘And he can stop a speeding vehicle, that PROVES he’s a superhero.’
ZF Aftermarket – The bus slows to a stop. We realise Dad wasn’t putting himself in danger standing in the road; this is the future and he is hailing an autonomous bus.
– Dad steps into the bus, followed by his daughter, Dolly and Teddy. The bus pulls away.
ZF Aftermarket – Back in the bedroom the girl has got into bed in between the two toys and is reading the comic book to them under the covers.
‘And like all superheroes he’s helped save hundreds of lives…and he won’t be happy until we’re all safe.’
ZF Aftermarket – The girl hasn’t yet noticed her dad has arrived home from work.
– He pokes his head around her bedroom door and says, ‘I can see you’re still awake under there. I have x-ray vision, you know.'
ZF Aftermarket – The girl, still under the covers, smiles.
‘If my Dad’s a superhero, maybe I’ll be a superhero, too?’
ZF Aftermarket – We see the dad working for real among various scenarios (e.g. on an African train’s gearing, in the engine room of a cargo ship, on a wind turbine above an illuminated city, on an electric car test track, and finally the autonomous bus driving).
ZF Aftermarket
ZF Aftermarket

© Neil Thomas

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