This is a car commercial that may make you cry
November 12, 2019 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Renault is a company that sells cars. In the course of that aim, they have recently produced a short film about a multi-decade love story told over the course of two minutes.
posted by gwint (43 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
d'où vient toute cette sciure de bois?!
posted by slater at 9:47 AM on November 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


Me: Oh, how nostalgic, my French exchange partner's parents had a Renault Clio too.

Everything else about it was totally different, though. But that nostalgia is funny.
posted by ambrosen at 9:51 AM on November 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Trying to remember the last time I saw a Renault, or any other French car for that matter. Easily thirty years.
posted by octothorpe at 9:58 AM on November 12, 2019


That Subaru didn't make this ad is probably a good thing but their marketing people must be kicking themselves.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:58 AM on November 12, 2019 [32 favorites]


Awwwwwwww.
posted by brainwane at 10:06 AM on November 12, 2019


That was dust-stormy and wonderful.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 10:27 AM on November 12, 2019


That's a nice ad. To break things down a little, Clios are marketed to young women and old people, and the ads come out of that attempt to appeal to two markets.

Early on, the Clio had a hugely successful campaign with young Nicole and her old Papa, taking turns driving the Clio around idyllic French villages.

Here they've expanded into two young women and two old people who all reunite around the grandchild (and the Clio).
posted by w0mbat at 10:39 AM on November 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


Loads of Clios in the UK, as well as loads of people who visit French exchange partners. Practically all the wlw I know are broke city-dwelling non-drivers but we've all been heartpunched by the ad anyway. Twitter's going wild for it. :')
posted by lokta at 10:50 AM on November 12, 2019 [6 favorites]


Just a tame content warning, I would say this ad is ever so slightly too steamy to watch as your boss walks by in an American workplace. More of a comment on America than anything.

Renault has historically made some great hot hatch versions of the Clio which Americans of course must gaze upon wistfully from afar.
posted by selfnoise at 11:03 AM on November 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


This is really good, and I like that it's a (kinda?) continuation of a previous campaign. I don't see much high concept advertising in the US, and the last "extended nostalgia" spot I knew of was The Kombi's Last Wishes from Volkswagen, which I feel makes a nice sibling for this one.
posted by rhizome at 11:25 AM on November 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


selfnoise: "Just a tame content warning, I would say this ad is ever so slightly too steamy dusty to watch as your boss walks by... "
posted by chavenet at 12:08 PM on November 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


That Subaru didn't make this ad is probably a good thing but their marketing people must be kicking themselves.

Now I'm imagining it with an F-150 Denis Leary narration.
posted by hal9k at 12:54 PM on November 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


Now I'm imagining it with an F-150 Denis Leary narration.

So many swears!
posted by rhizome at 1:13 PM on November 12, 2019


Counterpoint!
posted by tobascodagama at 1:43 PM on November 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


I first saw this ad presented in the context of 'guess what this is selling' and admittedly it's not the wildest example of 'ad doesn't match the product' - I twigged it must be a car commercial about halfway through - but it's still a lot of detail to sell a car.

That Subaru didn't make this ad is probably a good thing but their marketing people must be kicking themselves.

Subaru is only The Lesbian Car in the States. Let me tell you, as someone who is not currently a lesbian, Subarus are solid cars no matter your sexual identity
posted by Merus at 2:43 PM on November 12, 2019 [7 favorites]


Not sure where that lesbian thing started for Subaru, but it is absolutely the official car of the Willamette Valley in Oregon. They're good cars Bront.
posted by sjswitzer at 3:44 PM on November 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


It's a sweet enough ad but that cover of Wonderwall was so distracting that I barely remember anything in the ad besides the lovely yellow Clio at the beginning.

That Kombi ad, though, whew. Who let all that onion dust in here? RIP little bus.
posted by chrominance at 4:26 PM on November 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


Trying to remember the last time I saw a Renault, or any other French car for that matter. Easily thirty years.

Interesting. They're still very much a thing in Australia.

Remember too that Renault hasn't really been a French car for a long time, and their cars aren't even necessarily made with Renault parts, whatever that means in a global manufacturing / rebadging context. Our 2018 Renault Koleos is really a Nissan X-Trail, assembled by what used to be Samsung Motors in South Korea. Presumably soon they'll be using Mitsubishi parts and facilities as well.
posted by some little punk in a rocket at 5:21 PM on November 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Trying to remember the last time I saw a Renault, or any other French car for that matter. Easily thirty years.

Living where they don't salt the roads and cars live forever, I still see old Renaults once in a while. Finding parts at this point can't be easy.

Not sure where that lesbian thing started for Subaru, but it is absolutely the official car of the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

Some years ago there was an interesting article showing all the examples of Subaru's targeted marketing to specific demographics. (It might have been an FPP here, actually.)
posted by Dip Flash at 5:42 PM on November 12, 2019


Some years ago there was an interesting article showing all the examples of Subaru's targeted marketing to specific demographics. (It might have been an FPP here, actually.)

Yep.

Also ditto, non lesbian here and Subarus are great because they're one of the cheapest ways (if not the cheapest?) to get AWD in a sedan format.
posted by juv3nal at 6:05 PM on November 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


I cried.
posted by nikaspark at 10:58 PM on November 12, 2019


As a Renault-driving* father with a queer daughter who is currently learning Wonderwall on guitar, this commercial feels suspiciously specific...

* Though a Zoe, not a Clio.
posted by Harald74 at 11:44 PM on November 12, 2019 [7 favorites]


That soulful Wonderwall cover gave me horrible flashbacks to youth hostel social common rooms all across the world.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 1:37 AM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


The use of "Wonderwall" is so ubiquitous that it made me half tune out of this ad when I saw it on TV - only to have a "wait! what was that?" moment at the end.

In the UK, Brexit makes the ad doubly transgressive. There are still a few homophobic people who will be upset by it - but the life affirming depiction of a UK-Franco love story will make the xenophobes incandesce. The British also probably shows more lesbian love stories than it does ones which are based on cross-channel love.

The only final act of transgression I would have liked to have seen would be for the pair to end up ditching their old school ICE Clio and drive off in a 2019 Zoe.

Here are the various credits for the advert.
posted by rongorongo at 1:42 AM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


Renault hasn’t sold a car in the US in 30 years. When they last did the cars were such utter crap it doomed the brand. I would argue the Nissan is the new Renault, coasting on a reputation for quality while producing inferior products and lowest common denominator marketing to people who have no choice but to buy the lowest monthly payment. Not coincidentally the brands are part of the same globally inept corporation.

I grew up in a Subaru/Citroen household — my dad collected utterly unreliable French cars, which led my mom to buy her first Subaru in 1976 - 340k before it rusted away. Same for the second one. I am the weirdo among my siblings for disloyalty due to my lifelong preference for Mazda. Subaru has upended the car advertising game with the “Love” campaign. You see every automaker trying some version of gemütlichkeit sentimental marketing these days as the car industry is rapidly stagnating and no one can move all the 2019 sheet metal.

My Forester driving, outdoorsy, dog-and-kid having sibling, highly educated and cynical about marketing, once referred to the dog/kid/dad-centric ad campaign for his car by saying “yeah, they really got my fucking number.”

“We cat people prefer Mazdas and Hondas,” is my campaign proposal (it doesn’t have to be true, it just has to make you feel superior because of the product you choose to buy). I really wish Mazda would drop their ridiculous faux-upscale fake-luxury life-is-your-bubble current marketing (which isn’t working, they’re not selling anything but CX-5s this year) and just go right for the cat-lover demographic: we are a car for people who like asshole animals, not sweet loyal dogs. Or “Mazda: the one car your cat might not be too embarrassed to be seen riding to the vet in, since you’re too skint to afford a really nice car, asshole” Etc. or “Honda: the brand for people who don’t want to be Subaru people because eeew...”

I’d consider a Subaru but they’re so ubiquitously the gentrifier’s car of my New England area that I think my next car is going to be a beater rusty ford pickup just to be contrarian. Anyway, I think Subarus are overrated, with absolutely terrible auto transmissions (ok get a stick, good luck finding one) and underpowered (except STi of course) and that all-wheel-drive imposes an unnecessary fuel cost and maintenance burden for the slight advantages it actually offers over just having good tires on a FWD car that can actually get out of its own way.

Just kidding. Love to poke the Subaru hornets nest. It’s a family tradition.
posted by spitbull at 5:35 AM on November 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: Let me tell you, as someone who is not currently a lesbian...

(but yes, the ad was lovely and yes, Subarus are also great for straight people. Carry on.)
posted by emjaybee at 6:40 AM on November 13, 2019


My sister lives in Western Mass and every other car there is a Subaru. Both she and my brother-in-law drive them but then they live on top of a hill and it snows six months out of the year up there.
posted by octothorpe at 6:56 AM on November 13, 2019


On the one hand woke advertising is capitalism being capitalism.

On the other, it shows how much success we've had in some civil rights battles that staid and boring capitalist companies are now marketing by including LGBT people.

So overall yay?
posted by sotonohito at 8:48 AM on November 13, 2019


Sample size of one 1999 Forester with 80k on it, non lesbian. Love did not make this Subaru, Satan did. Defective Transmission, (some plastic bushing cheap out defect, way out of recall space time,) $2700. Check engine light leading to head gasket replacement, "Oh, they all do that around 100k but it is like a new car because since we have to take the engine out basically we put back all new accessory components since we might as well, you'll love it." $2700?? (painful repressed memory) Drives like a cheesebox on roller skates, AC craps out, weirdly dent magnetic, drinks gas like an OPEC sailor and shifts like it owns a chiropractic franchise. Only redeeming feature is when it snows it is magnificent, you feel like an aristocrat driving pass the poor SOBs spinning and wagging and hunting for ditches. (Electric seats too I guess.) But in Portland OR thats a few days a year.

On the other hand the 94 Honda is like some great weather beaten warplane coming in on one engine all shot up but loyal to the death to the crew. God only knows how many miles as the odometer gave up the ghost around 185 thousand years ago, ABS worked sometime last millennium, lights are dying on the dashboard windows only go halfway, there is a strange clicking sound, there is still a faint odor from the last of three times it has been stolen but compared to the Subaru it drives like a Ferrari is carbon neutral and has the longevity of a block of platinum.

Last cringey thing I heard about a new Subaru was that you really want to make sure to get the extra long life head lamp bulbs as you have to take off the front tire to change them.
posted by Pembquist at 9:03 AM on November 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


If capitalist companies want to give us emotionally affecting, beautifully shot, queer-inclusive short films as a means to sell their product, I for one am totally ok with that.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:27 AM on November 13, 2019 [5 favorites]


Aren't there any other station wagons / estates / shooting brakes / whatever you call'em in you neck of the woods with 4WD on the American market, if the Subarus are not all that? Here in Europe we have the Volvo XC70 (which I guess just went out of production), Audi A4, VW Passat, Skoda Octavia, BMW 3 and 5 series, Mazda 6, Mercedes-Benz C-class and I guess several more.
posted by Harald74 at 9:47 AM on November 13, 2019


Station Wagons are pretty rare in the US these day. I think that CUVs have totally taken over that market.
posted by octothorpe at 11:49 AM on November 13, 2019


Aren't there any other station wagons / estates / shooting brakes / whatever you call'em in you neck of the woods with 4WD on the American market, if the Subarus are not all that?

Those cars are all sold in the US, but they are mostly luxury brands and therefore cost about $20k more than a Subaru. But they all extreme niche-sellers vs the Subaru.
posted by The_Vegetables at 11:50 AM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


The Forester competes with the Honda CRV, Toyota RAV4, etc., all of which are almost the same size and shape. The Outback is one of the last station wagons still being sold here and the most outdoorsy (more so than the VW all wheel drive wagon for example).

So lots of “CUV” shaped cars from all kinds of companies out there, but very few station wagons per se.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:47 PM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


There are other wagons on offer in the US market, but as a recent piece I spotted on Jalopnik indicates, the Outback wagon alone accounts for 85% of all station wagon sales in the US. And although you folks don't get the Levorg, I have to imagine that the Forester is taking up a decent chunk of that remaining 15%.
posted by MarchHare at 3:57 PM on November 13, 2019


Hey don't forget the Porsche Panamera Turismo, that's as close to a station wagon as a CR-V!
posted by rhizome at 5:17 PM on November 13, 2019


The wonderwall cover reminds me of this one, though I could never find a good quality version online.
I come from a Renault family, my dad still buys only Renault, so that also helped trigger some extra nostalgia. I do understand people who don't like them though: quality, at least in the 80s and 90s, was not great.
posted by anzen-dai-ichi at 6:47 PM on November 13, 2019


The Outback is one of the last station wagons

And even then, you haven't been able to get a proper Legacy wagon for a while. Just the lifted and be-clad-ded version that the Outback is.

More generally, the rest of the world gets lots of cars that never make it to the US because Americans, and even more because American car executives are some of the stupidest and most short-sighted people on the planet.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:23 PM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


Furthermore, the reason your station wagons are getting lifted and be-cladded is because that gets them classified as SUVs, which are categorized as trucks, which have lower emissions requirements in the US. That's why practically all TV commercials for cars are for trucks: they have higher profit margins because dirtier engines are cheaper engines.
posted by rhizome at 7:41 PM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


rhizome I was all ready to say "that's not a real wagon!" as a kind of reflex action, but it really does conform quite neatly to the defining traits of stationwagonhood (though I am totally down for arguing that nothing with four doors has any business wearing a Porsche badge).
posted by MarchHare at 7:44 PM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


Yeah I'm not saying the car is a legit Porsche. That, I will take to my grave. Even though I do have a morbid fascination with the regular "4-door 911" Panamera and hey, now that I look at it, the Macan is probably the most Subaru Outback-y of any non-Subaru in the US.
posted by rhizome at 7:57 PM on November 13, 2019


Subaru Outback is the unoffical state car of Colorado. It's been said that if you Live in colorado you either own one, have owned one, or want to own one. I'm in the last 2 categories.
I did like this commercial, slightly dusty.
posted by evilDoug at 9:14 PM on November 13, 2019


Furthermore, the reason your station wagons are getting lifted and be-cladded is because that gets them classified as SUVs, which are categorized as trucks, which have lower emissions requirements in the US.

Trucks do have lower emissions requirements in general, but small SUVs (CUVs) vs a station wagon are very similar in gas usage and emmissions due to more efficient engines.

Purchasing a station wagon or CUV that gets 25mpg vs a regular car or small hatchback that gets 35-40 mpg is the real difference.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:40 AM on November 14, 2019


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