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To the Next 100 Years

To the Next 100 Years

Michael Carnevale

Michael Carnevale

March 5, 2019

Celebrating a century of automotive design.

"We didn’t want to look in the rearview mirror but ahead—where the brand leads us."

Creative Director Nicolas Lautier and Associate Director Julien Grimaldi at BETC’s Traction break down how they came up with the look and feel for a seminal campaign for Citroën. Plus, the duo give us their favorite car designs over the past 100 years.

 

Give us some background on the creative brief that Citroën gave you for their brand campaign.

Julien: It’s actually all a question of context. This year, Citroën celebrates its 100th anniversary—a very special time to look back and remember their iconic cars, while connecting them with their current and future models.

What’s the emotion and story you wanted to convey for this campaign?

Nicolas: The main idea we wanted to highlight is that Citroën is a brand that’s close to people. It has been here for 100 years, and it will continue to guide the next generation toward a better future. From family cars to professional and rally cars, Citroën has always been there with mobility solutions.

The brand has a very happy and generous tone of voice. It’s like a person your grandfather, your father, or you may know—but it’s still super modern, in tune with its time.

JG: Maybe the most important of all was to celebrate the popularity of Citroën, a brand that has always been very close to people. Most Europeans have a souvenir of a 2CV or a Mehari. We wanted to bring back that feeling.

The spot has a very cinematic feel. How important was the “look” to telling this story?

NL: A brand film needs a cinematic feel, especially when it tells the brand’s story throughout time. We needed to add a fresh and modern aesthetic so it wouldn’t feel too vintage.

Citroën is a modern brand that has a very specific and modern vision of mobility. We needed to make this clear. We didn’t want to look in the rearview mirror but ahead—where the brand leads us.

JG: The spirit of “The Hitchhiker” is of a road trip movie,  so cinematic feel is important. It conveys life as a long trip, full of memories.

Heritage is obviously important for the brand and, specifically, this spot. How were you able to choose which cars you were going to use? That’s a lot of cars.

NL: Citroën has created a lot of iconic cars that have had a real impact on society for 100 years. From Traction to the 2CV, the Type H, the C4 Cactus, and so on. In order to choose good references, we needed to find the perfect balance among cinematic scenes, eras, and iconic cars.

We also wanted to highlight different aspects of the brand, from family cars to professional and rally cars. Thanks to that, we were able to show how rich and iconic the brand is.

JG: That was one of the most difficult tasks, we must say. We went to the Citroën Musée du Patrimoine (Citroën Heritage Museum) where all the makes and models through the years are displayed. A lot of them have made history! We may have chosen the most popular ones.

"It’s genuine. It’s mobility and freedom without additives."

Any personal favorites selected?

NL: I personally love the Mehari scene because it really expresses something about freedom and mobility. It’s a vintage car, but for me, this scene has a very modern touch. It’s still super accurate. It’s genuine. It’s mobility and freedom without additives.

JG: The 2CV because we’ve all sat in a one. And also, maybe the Visa GTi.

Tell us a little about the soundtrack choice. What appealed to you about this Supertramp song?

JG: We wanted a song in line with our strategic choices—a popular song that, just like Citroën, always feels modern.

Do you plan on doing any activations to accompany this campaign?

JG: Lots of events all around the world and in any type of media will take place this year to celebrate the centenary of the brand! We may have a real hitchhiker traveling through Europe who might get to ride in these famous models…

What else can we expect in the coming months from Citroën for their 100 year anniversary?

JG: Fully renewed advertising material for each model of the brand, social media content made in collaboration with real-life Citroën fans around the world, and so many events coming.

Couldn’t help but notice that cameo at 0:32. Can you tell us a little about how that came to be? Is this Jacques’ first time in a Citroën spot?

JG: If Citroën is such an iconic brand, it’s in part because of the work and convictions of Mr. Séguéla. This cameo is a tribute to everything he’s done for Citroën’s brand and advertising, which has always been different from the others. It is a legacy we are proud of.

"We didn’t want to look in the rearview mirror but ahead—where the brand leads us."

Creative Director Nicolas Lautier and Associate Director Julien Grimaldi at BETC’s Traction break down how they came up with the look and feel for a seminal campaign for Citroën. Plus, the duo give us their favorite car designs over the past 100 years.

 

Give us some background on the creative brief that Citroën gave you for their brand campaign.

Julien: It’s actually all a question of context. This year, Citroën celebrates its 100th anniversary—a very special time to look back and remember their iconic cars, while connecting them with their current and future models.

What’s the emotion and story you wanted to convey for this campaign?

Nicolas: The main idea we wanted to highlight is that Citroën is a brand that’s close to people. It has been here for 100 years, and it will continue to guide the next generation toward a better future. From family cars to professional and rally cars, Citroën has always been there with mobility solutions.

The brand has a very happy and generous tone of voice. It’s like a person your grandfather, your father, or you may know—but it’s still super modern, in tune with its time.

JG: Maybe the most important of all was to celebrate the popularity of Citroën, a brand that has always been very close to people. Most Europeans have a souvenir of a 2CV or a Mehari. We wanted to bring back that feeling.

The spot has a very cinematic feel. How important was the “look” to telling this story?

NL: A brand film needs a cinematic feel, especially when it tells the brand’s story throughout time. We needed to add a fresh and modern aesthetic so it wouldn’t feel too vintage.

Citroën is a modern brand that has a very specific and modern vision of mobility. We needed to make this clear. We didn’t want to look in the rearview mirror but ahead—where the brand leads us.

JG: The spirit of “The Hitchhiker” is of a road trip movie,  so cinematic feel is important. It conveys life as a long trip, full of memories.

Heritage is obviously important for the brand and, specifically, this spot. How were you able to choose which cars you were going to use? That’s a lot of cars.

NL: Citroën has created a lot of iconic cars that have had a real impact on society for 100 years. From Traction to the 2CV, the Type H, the C4 Cactus, and so on. In order to choose good references, we needed to find the perfect balance among cinematic scenes, eras, and iconic cars.

We also wanted to highlight different aspects of the brand, from family cars to professional and rally cars. Thanks to that, we were able to show how rich and iconic the brand is.

JG: That was one of the most difficult tasks, we must say. We went to the Citroën Musée du Patrimoine (Citroën Heritage Museum) where all the makes and models through the years are displayed. A lot of them have made history! We may have chosen the most popular ones.

"It’s genuine. It’s mobility and freedom without additives."

Any personal favorites selected?

NL: I personally love the Mehari scene because it really expresses something about freedom and mobility. It’s a vintage car, but for me, this scene has a very modern touch. It’s still super accurate. It’s genuine. It’s mobility and freedom without additives.

JG: The 2CV because we’ve all sat in a one. And also, maybe the Visa GTi.

Tell us a little about the soundtrack choice. What appealed to you about this Supertramp song?

JG: We wanted a song in line with our strategic choices—a popular song that, just like Citroën, always feels modern.

Do you plan on doing any activations to accompany this campaign?

JG: Lots of events all around the world and in any type of media will take place this year to celebrate the centenary of the brand! We may have a real hitchhiker traveling through Europe who might get to ride in these famous models…

What else can we expect in the coming months from Citroën for their 100 year anniversary?

JG: Fully renewed advertising material for each model of the brand, social media content made in collaboration with real-life Citroën fans around the world, and so many events coming.

Couldn’t help but notice that cameo at 0:32. Can you tell us a little about how that came to be? Is this Jacques’ first time in a Citroën spot?

JG: If Citroën is such an iconic brand, it’s in part because of the work and convictions of Mr. Séguéla. This cameo is a tribute to everything he’s done for Citroën’s brand and advertising, which has always been different from the others. It is a legacy we are proud of.

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