Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Dream Rangers

It’s the video that brought throngs of Taiwanese viewers to tears in just three minutes. In one month, it was viewed more than 1 million times on YouTube. A commercial for TC Bank, it tells the story of five elderly men, averaging age 83, who decide to go on a 13-day motorcycle ride through Taiwan. The hook? It’s based on a real story.

The commercial, called “Dream Rangers,” is the third in a series for TC Bank, all of which feature heart-warming stories based on true occurrences. The commercials are aired on only in Taiwan.

But just how close to the truth is the ad?  There was indeed a team of members from the elderly society Hong Dao Lao Ren Ji Jing Hui that went on a 13-day motorcycle tour of Taiwan in 2008. But the actual group totaled more than 10 people, including two women, not just the five men in the commercial.

Of the five characters in the video (all of whom were actors) the leader of the group—who declares as he hits a table, “Let’s go ride motorcycles!”—was based on a real man, who died before the commercial aired. Also real is the story of the man who carried his wife’s photograph with him on the bike tour. As for the old man who had trouble hearing? That was an addition from the advertising house.

The actors, the youngest of which was 79 years old, only three of the actors knew how to operate a motorcycle, were on set for three full days of shooting. Ambulances were on stand by at all hours.