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My Favourite Francois Rousselet Commercials

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

Francois Rousselet

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

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, Dream Further

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

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.

2. DIESEL Fashion Group, Go With The Flaw

Advertising Agency: Publicis Italia, Milan, Italy

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

The campaign’s controversial approach, tends toward paying homage to the physical flaws of appearance and countenance many people are born with.

DIESEL’s message of encouragement is 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 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.

3. DIESEL Fashion Group, Keep The World Flawed

Advertising Agency: Publicis Italia, Milan, Italy

Also directed by 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.

4. Paco Rabbane, The Race

Advertising Agency: Bilborg, Paris, France

Directed by Francois Rousselet and filmed on location in Namibia, this action-packed, Mad Max themed commercial, involved actors and drivers performing daring stunts at full speed under challenging desert conditions.

The commercial for Paco Rabbane’s ‘Invictus Legend’ and ‘Olympéa Legend’ fragrances stars Australian rugby player Nick Youngquest, and Brazillian actress and model, Luma Grothe.

The soundtrack appropriately features the song ‘Legend’ by Kayne West.

5. Paco Rabanne, The Race Rewind

Advertising Agency: Bilborg, Paris, Frace

The agency created a click-on ‘rewind’ icon in the commercial as an

interactive incentive for viewers to take part in the film’s Mad Max style race and discover exclusive content on the brand’s website.

Large screen in-store displays were also installed in Paco Rabanne’s flagship stores and at major airports around the world that enabled ‘gamers’ to re-enact the commercial’s desert race by dodging obstacles and collecting bonus fragrance bottles as they speed to the finish line

6. Marks & Spencer, Spend It Well

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

Directed by 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.

7. 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 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 views on YouTube 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.