The most interesting film I’ve seen lately is technically an ad. A 3 ½ minute film called “L’Odyssee de Cartier” as the luxury jeweler refers to their commercial that has recently run on National TV.
When I saw the spot first I didn’t even realize it was a commercial. It is so long in regard to commercial standards and there are no words. Nothing about the spot is hard selling or even selling at all.
Several things caught my eye but none of them were really the product. First and foremost the cinematography; it is beautifully filmed, featuring a jewel encrusted panther as it comes to life and travels across the globe passing by The Great Wall, The Taj Mahal and jumping on a Wright Brother’s style airplane. Several iconic Cartier products are cleverly incorporated throughout the film as it traces the company’s 165 year history.
Second is the length, clocking in at 3 ½ minutes; a rarity in television advertising. I do not recall ever seeing a spot that long. Even more amazing, the spot ran on a Sunday night in a prime ‘roadblock’ across all three major networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) and in network morning news shows.
And lastly is what I have learned about it afterwards. Cartier has dedicated a website www.odyssee.cartier.us to the project. Interestingly the cost came in at $5.2 million shot in multiple countries, the music score was recorded with an orchestra at the legendary Abbey Road and the panther was actually 3 different live panthers.
Cartier says the spot is airing on TV in 12 different countries, in cinemas and as display and takeover web ads on the NY Times website making the cost to run the spot unimaginably expensive.
What I don’t understand is the logic. Although Cartier is well known worldwide I fail to see the mass appeal or the strategy in running National TV in the US where I would have to guess their sales are concentrated in select markets. I’m glad they did though or I may not have seen the spot at all.