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My Favourite Francois Rousselet Commercials

This is another in the globally popular ACES series of featuring commercial film directors that I admire for their dedicated craftsmanship in bringing creative concepts and storylines to filmic life that enthral viewers and motivate well-earned accolades from the Advertising Communication industry.

Francois Rousselet

After graduating from Art-Film School in Paris, Francois pursued his filmmaking dream of directing music video.

He has worked with some of the world’s best musical talents such as Kanye West, Madonna, Depeche Mode, Snoop Dog, Pharrell and Jack White, and won several MTV Music, World Music and D&AD Video Awards.

His music video background has led to a very distinctive style of dynamically layered narrative filmmaking and directing of commercials for international brands. On the ‘MassiveMusic’ blog, he describes himself as, “a French Director of comic fiction living in London”.

1. Nike, Dear Kobe

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Shanghai, China

This powerful live-action footage, and line-animation homage to American National Basketball Player Kobe Bryant, was directed by filmmaker Francois Rousselet with animation by the Mathematics studio in Paris.

Revered in China, his tragic loss, along with millions of fans throughout the world is deeply felt. ‘Dear Kobe’ is an emotive tribute to his warm, engaging generosity of devoting time to others and exemplary life.

2. Nike, Dream Further

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, USA

Filmmaker Francois Rousselet directed this motivational short film for Nike’s Fifa Women’s World Cup campaign.

The commercial features some of the French tournament’s biggest stars in women’s soccer who are joined by 10-year-old Makena Cook, who delivers a delightful performance on camera.

The aspiring young Californian football player undertakes an exciting, dream-fulfilling adventure encouraged by the message: “Don’t change your dream. Change the world.

The stirring soundtrack song is ‘Bad Reputation’ by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.

3. Nike, Da-Da-Ding

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Delhi, India

The Delhi Agency’s first advertising campaign for Nike was created to motivate registration and participation in Nike’s Training Club events and Run Club sessions in India, under their ‘NTC Live’ banner.

The campaign has a strong feminist focus based on the Agency’s human insight of sociological evidence that female participation in sports impacts positively on self-image and self-assurance by instilling a sense of control, competency and strength.

The ‘Da-Da-Ding’ launch commercial, directed by filmmaker François Rousselet, was a creative triumph. Featuring Bollywood star Deepika Padukone and many of India’s top female athletes, representing a wide range of sporting disciplines, it rapidly went viral and motivated 2,8 million online views in less than a week.

Deepika Padukone posted a video on social media that generated further interest and many ‘shares’ with her message: “Everything I am today, and everything I have achieved, comes from my years of playing sport,”

“My goals, my commitment, my focus, my dedication, my discipline, my sacrifices, my hard work; I’ve learned it all through sport. Sport has also taught me how to handle failure and success. It has taught me how to fight. It has made me unstoppable!”

The soundtrack, Da-Da-Ding by Gener8ion featuring American rapper Gizzle, turned the Cannes Gold Lion award winning commercial into an Internet music video phenomenon.

4. Jean Paul Gaultier, Le Male Le Parfum

Advertising Agency: Mazarine, Paris, France

Production Company: Insurrection Paris

This cinematic and visually stylish fantasy, masterfully directed by filmmaker François Rousselet, features many iconic creations of Jean Paul Gaultier’s famed Paris Fashion Shows and his signature cologne containers of male and female torsos cast in glass.

The seductive charm of the commercial, offers much enjoyable viewing for all aficionados of French Haute Couture.

5. DIESEL Fashion, Francesca

Advertising Agency: Publicis, Milan, Italy

Renzo Rosso, Creator of Diesel Group: “I am very proud of ‘Francesca,’ and of the DIESEL values that inspired this story. When we created ‘For Successful Living’ many years ago, our thought was the same then as it is today. Individuality, pride, and the power to live as one wants, is the ultimate success in life; and being true to oneself is the single most important element of life.” (Source: Gloria J. AdStasher 17 June 2020)

Directed by filmmaker François Rousselet, in collaboration with ‘Diversity’, an Italian association committed to promoting social inclusion, Francesca is played by the eminent, multi-talented Canadian transgender model and activist, Harlow Monroe.

The story centres on Francesca’s transgender journey from being assigned male at birth, to the awakening of her female identity and feminine self, and living-out her soul-felt calling of becoming a nun.

6. DIESEL Fashion, Go With The Flaw

Advertising Agency: Publicis Italia, Milan, Italy

DIESEL’s much acclaimed ‘Flaws’ campaign is a very unusual and mould-breaking theme for a fashion brand.

DIESEL’s controversial campaign message about the physical flaws of appearance and countenance many people are born with, is an encouragement to stop seeking societal norms of perfection, and embrace those imperfections that define one’s identity, individuality and uniqueness and enables an interesting life worth living to the fullest.

The ‘Go With The Flaw’ commercial directed by filmmaker Francois Rousellet, depicts a novice filmmaker’s ‘flawed’ attempt at splicing various bits of film together into some cohesive, partially effective, semi-documentary, story that is worth watching.

The soundtrack features songstress Edith Piaf’s haunting “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien”. No, I Regret, Nothing.

7. DIESEL Fashion, Keep The World Flawed

Advertising Agency: Publicis Italia, Milan, Italy

Also superbly directed by filmmaker Francois Rousellet, ‘Keep The World Flawed’ is a romantic reminder that corrective surgery does not remove any perceived appearance flaws from one’s genetic inheritance makeup.

The commercial additionally, contains hidden clues that contain links, like the scene of unmatched socks, that leads viewers the Instagram page @wantedsocks.

The soundtrack features ‘What’s a Matter, Baby?’ by English Rock Group, Small Faces.

8. Marks & Spencer, Spend It Well

Advertising Agency: Valenstein & Fatt, London, UK (Formally known as Grey London)

Directed by filmmaker Francois Rousselet, this is the first commercial for the multinational British M&S food and clothing Retail Group’s corporate responsibility campaign.

M&S aim to put their customers at the heart of everything they do and becoming an enabler of a life well lived with a renewed focus on positive, on and offline customer experiences.

Their message to consumers is that life is not only about how well one spends one’s money, but much more importantly, how well one spends one’s time on those aspects of life that make a pleasurable difference, like rewarding personal and social experiences of interaction.

The commercial is narrated by award-winning actress Helen McCrory OBE, and features a new arrangement of David Bowie’s classic ‘Rebel Rebel’ as a background soundtrack.