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Renault’s More Smiles Per Litre

In 1899 Louis Renault, and his brothers Marcel and Fernand, founded the Renault Corporation and in same year produced their first automobile, the Renault Voiturette 1CV.

After participating in two world war efforts with countless tank, truck, tractor, aviation and autorail engines and vehicles, Group Renault today, headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris, is a multinational automobile company, of cars and vans, and manufactures engines for Daimler’s Mercedes A-Class and B-Class.

The commercials that I admire the most by the Renault Corporation, and their fellow world traveller, the Publicis Advertising Agency network, are the stories that exhibit a distinctive, subtle, Gallic humour, or the scenarios of brand affinity, empathy and pathos that are delivered with liberal-minded understanding and candour.

1. Renault Kangoo Express, Dog

Advertising Agency: Publicis, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Every time I view this commercial my smile just becomes broader, and broader.

Directed by famed, Ibero-American Film Director, Andy Fogwill, ‘Dog’ is one of the commercials in a multi-platform campaign, featuring the popular workers’ Renault Kangoo Van/MUV.

The campaign is centered on the need to adapt to robotic automation to safeguard the viable future of automotive manufacturing in Argentina.

The message, brilliantly delivered with a big smile and the theme song; ‘We Reinvent Ourselves’, is underscored by a lighthearted scene that pokes a bit of fun about the imagined idiosyncrasies of daily life with robots.

2. Renault Clio Hybrid, The New Chapter of a Great Story

Advertising Agency: Publicis Conseil, Paris, France

The Renault Clio Hybrid’s ‘New Chapter’ commercial celebrates the Clio’s 30th Anniversary. Since its first appearance in 1990, Clio has become the Renault Group’s best international selling model.

Film Director Sebastian Strasser’s insightful and lauded storytelling expertise comes to the fore in this delightful, thirty-year long portrayal of pivotal interactions between a mother and her son regarding their Clio.

Like me, I’m sure many people will identify with the inevitable clash of wills and the reconciliations that occur in family relationships with broad, knowing smiles.

3. Renault Megane, Lunch With The In-laws

Advertising Agency: Publicis, Lisbon, Portugal

Directed by João Pedro Moreira, the commercial features a husband’s carefully planed escape from a boring lunch with his in-laws.

He gets a real life double to stand in for him at the in-laws’ lunch table while he goes on a jaunt in his Renault Megane, enjoying every minute of his brief freedom with a smile that like me, viewers of the commercial, will undoubtedly share with him.

4. Renault Megane, Catch Me If You Can

Advertising Agency: Publicis Conseil, Paris, France

Directed by Martin Werner, this playful depiction of a couple’s ‘cat-and-mouse game’, filmed in Cape Town, and various, scenic South African locations in the Western Cape, is a special treat for me. I always enjoy viewing commercials filmed in my hometown.

5. Renault Clio: The French Exchange

Advertising Agency: Publicis Poke, London, UK

Perhaps not surprisingly, the commercial’s LGB theme received some mixed viewer reactions. However, in the main, the touching story, directed with laudable sensitivity by Frederic Planchon, was widely praised for its impactful empathy.

The analogy of Renault Clio’s, ‘Thirty Years In The Making’ and the poignant story about the awakening of a loving relationship between two women, who grew up as best friends, plays out against an emotional soundtrack of ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis, performed by London-based Hejira Band member, Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne.

6. Renault Scenic, To The Airport

Advertising Agency: Publicis, Milan, Italy

‘To The Airport’ is part of a Renault Scenic advertising campaign about surprising, conversations between drivers and their passengers whilst highlighting the SUV’s standard safety features for driver attention diversions.

Director Joachim Back elicits sterling performances from his actors in this ‘fly-on-the-wall’ commercial that makes for entertaining viewing.

7. Renault Scenic, To The Wedding

Advertising Agency: Publicis, Milan, Italy

Renault Scenic’s ‘To the Wedding’ is the second of the surprising conversations commercials in the advertising campaign. Also directed by Joachim Back, it is equally rewarding to view with another great performance from the cast.

8. Renault Clio, Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Advertising Agency: Publicis, Rome, Italy

Directed by Reynald Gresset, this cinematic, send-up of a spy drama plays out against a soundtrack of songwriter Lee Hazelwood’s ‘The Last Of The Secret Agents’ performed by songstress Nancy Sinatra.

The fast-paced chase and high-tech tracking of a ‘secret agent’ driving a Renault Clio, makes for entertaining viewing.