Cartier airs glitzy 3.5 minute commercial

(Updated March 11 at 3:00 pm)

Cartier panther

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.)

the Cartier panther
The website includes information about the panther(s)

34 thoughts on “Cartier airs glitzy 3.5 minute commercial

    1. I was intrigued for a while because I couldn’t recall ever seeing a Cartier commercial before. But after a while I was just waiting for it to be over. It seems very gauche to run an ad like that until the economy bounces back.

    2. And to whom are they advertising? I”m watching “The Goodwife” and “Face the Nation”. If I could afford Cartier, I’d be on an island in the Pacific, not watching tv.

    1. I too think this commercial is awesome. If you can sell very expensive things running a 3 minute commercial by saying one word -> you have a successful company.

  1. I thought it spectacular! Best to my recall, when else has a Cartier commercial appeared on Amercian television and what other commercial has run for that length of time. I was almost mesmirized. Enjoy it…what better to you have to do with your 3+ minutes of time. Bravo Cartier!

  2. My roommate just came in and asked if I had seen this commercial. Apparently it just aired on a morning news show. Not sure which one, but she typically watches “Good Morning America.” But she said they cut off the ending. It did show the elephants and old airplane – which elephants (oliphants?) are my favorite part.

    1. Don’t recall what the ending was and if it were cut off, I don’t know if I’d notice. There are other advertisers who air both long commercials and shorter versions of the long ones. Wouldn’t surprise me if Cartier does the same thing…

      March 8 — Just confirming that I have seen short versions of the long original.

  3. I find advertising to be an interesting game to play. I am the skeptical quarry, they the hunters. My triumphant television find was the Dish Satellite DVR. You can record any two programs at one time on a hard drive and skip over the commercials! I almost hesitate to mention it for fear “they”might take it away from me. The trend I perceive, however, is that commercials are becoming ever more creative, often using humor to entice the viewer, and this post would seem to promote that view. Fascinating to see it evolve.

    I noticed the other day that some internet sponsors (, specifically) have begun to effectively disable my “reader” function by somehow preventing the page-loading process from ending. Reader is something I only recently discovered as a marvelous way to eliminate the distraction of moving ads in the margins. The battle will continue.

    1. My son has wondered for years why I put up with commercials. He either records or downoads everything and suffers no commercials (or can fast forward through them).

      I’ve minimized Internet ads by using Firefox with the Adblocker add-on, but a lot of garbage still gets through. My current peeve is the floating blocks beside a news story that you use if you want to “share.” They move and wiggle and are very annoying, especially since I have no intention of “sharing.”

  4. Once you see it, it then becomes an annoying commercial. At least you know you have 3.5 minutes to finish the dishes or change laundry loads before your show comes back on. Commercials are too long as it is.

    1. At least it spares us 3.5 minutes of loud music and yelling on all the other inane commercials. But no, there’s not a reason in the world to sit through it a second time.

  5. It was quite a elaborate / intriguing commercial – but I wondered if the intended audience was really watching in that time period ( Either the Amazing Race or Desperate Housewives, I forget) – but it is getting a lot of buzz.

  6. Amazing what the blood of children in war-torn Africa will buy. (No, I do not believe the Kimberly Accord is worth the paper it was written on.) –signed, Wet Blanket

    1. Hey, “WB.” Whether or not they are blood diamonds, 3.5 minutes of diamond-studded extravagance was grossly out of place for most of the average Americans who constitute a typical Sunday evening television audience. I don’t understand their thinking at all. Did they honestly think we’d run out and buy their bling? Were they trying to taunt and flaunt it in front of the 99%? What was their point?

  7. The latest Cartier commercial is sublime, stylish, gorgeous cinematography, fantastic scenery! I loved every second of it. It could go on for half an hour and I would watch it every time! Wish filmmakers would put this much style and vision in today’s commercial films, instead of the trash that they make. Simply superb!

  8. I enjoy the beauty of the commercial and the journey the animal takes to go “home”. I especially like the part when she has the bracelet on and strokes the leopard. I was quite surprised to even see a Cartier commercial, in the past everyone in the world who knew good jewelry knew Cartier.

  9. Couldn’t believe it at 3.5 min; ran it back just to make sure. It was fascinating but really, I don’t think I’ll buy a jewel covered peacock or lizard. Now the actual jewelry was gorgeous but lottery would have to hit my house big time before I could shop there and then it would be the bracelet worn at the end. I would fast forward next time it runs. First time i’ve seen it. It was on 1-2-13 Good Morning America

    1. Yes, I saw it last night during … something. Not surprised they’re running it again, after spending so much on it last spring. I enjoyed it this time, since it was on during some old rerun. I noticed more details that I missed the first time, like the little jeweled lizard. He was cute.

... and that's my two cents