(Updated March 11 at 3:00 pm)
Holy commercial, Batman! I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it. And I didn’t believe it while I was watching it. A Cartier commercial that ran 3.5 minutes. Too long by half, in my opinion. Or maybe I’ve just developed an extremely short attention span.
The appropriately lavish commercial, celebrating the company’s 165th anniversary, took two years to produce and cost $14 million. That’s the sort of extravagance you’d expect from a luxury brand, I suppose, but even the luxury car makers haven’t run commercials as long as this one. A waste of money, IMO, but it did get my attention, didn’t it? Still, I wonder how many potential Cartier customers spend their Sunday evenings watching “The Good Wife” and its commercials.
The film follows a panther, the company’s symbol since the 1930s, from Paris to Russia (where Cartier was jeweler to the tzars), China, and India, passing some of the company’s most famous pieces of jewelry. The flight back to Paris is with Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, who received one of the first wristwatches for men from Louis Cartier in 1904 after he requested something more practical than a pocket watch for flying. The film was directed by Bruno Aveillan and features model Shalom Harlow.
Francois Le Troquer, managing director of Cartier UK, said, “We thought it was time to do it, especially because now everybody wants to be luxury… even a Big Mac is deluxe. …If a brand like Cartier does not do YouTube or Facebook, it’s like we’re dead.”
The ad campaign includes a richly layered microsite featuring the film itself and behind-the-scenes information about its production, score, Cartier’s history, and the jewelry. For example, the panther runs through a line of gold bracelets, “The Love Bracelet,” a classic Cartier design that requires an actual screwdriver to open and fasten on the wrist, “serving to sanctify inseparable love.” Or read about the panther and the three cats used in the film. The website is a must-see to fully understand and appreciate the film. And because the entire production is, after all, a commercial, there’s even a little e-boutique where you can pick out your next trinket. (The Love Bracelet goes for a mere $13,650.)
- One for the ladies: L’Odyssée de Cartier (thegoodthebadandugly.wordpress.com)
- “L’Odyssée de Cartier” is a feast of film indulgence (holykaw.alltop.com)
- Watch Cartier’s Two-Years-In-The-Making “Odyssey” Film (fastcocreate.com)
- L’ Odysee De Cartier. The Film (portraitsofelegance.net)
- Oh Hell, Even Cartier Makes Better Fantasy Movies Than Hollywood [Video] (winextra.com)
- Stunning fantasy short about jeweled panthers and gold dragons is secretly an advertisement [Video] (io9.com)
- The Cartier Odyssey (adverblog.com)