The Mégane Experiment, created by Publicis London, is a marketing film for Renault that shows an actor named ‘Claude’ who goes to Gisburn, Lancashire, where there are no Méganes, and tries to convince the local population that a Mégane can change their lifestyle, health and enjoyment of driving by telling everyone he meets that he is a ‘joie de vivre’ expert Menton, Côte d’Azur, France, where there are many Méganes.
Over the course of the week he spent in Gisburn, he calls a meeting to explain that villages and towns with more Méganes have higher fertility rates, teaches the meaning of ‘joie de vivre’ to the primary school, gets interviewed by a member of the local Press and, finally, puts on the ‘Festival de Joie’ on the local playing fields.
The ‘Festival de Joie’ itself took place in the rain but still attracted 300 of the 500 inhabitants of Gisburn, showing how interested people were to learn of their lack of ‘joie’, and how they wanted, if they could, to change themselves.
As well as giving the people he met a new perspective on life, he also gave raffle tickets to them so that they had a chance to drive the Mégane.
The film was directed by Oscar-nominated director Henry-Alex Rubin who described ‘Claude’ as a ‘French Borat with a heart’.
The integrated campaign encompasses TV, cinema, national press and digital including pre-roll and banner advertising, website TheMeganeExperiment.com and social media activity on sites including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Phil York, Marketing Director, Renault UK, said: “We wanted a campaign which broke from the norm, so a humorous, lighthearted Anglo-French cultural comparison of two such distinct villages works well for our brand. The Mégane is an iconic symbol of French ‘joie de vivre’ and we’re hopeful that getting more of them on the road over here will not just bring a little more happiness to the residents of Gisburn, but also the rest of Britain too.”