If Elena Ferrante wrote adverts, a sentence I could never previously envisage writing, this would be it. Publicis Poke’s Renault Clio spot, ’30 Years in the Making’, is an intense and deeply touching love story. A gripping narrative, beautifully woven across three decades. The unspoken love of two girls, grown into women, brought to life with grace and flair.
Its been three decades since Renault Clio permeated public consciousness with the ads of ‘Papa and Nicole’, a bygone age of wind up windows and cassette players. Today’s Clio features the very latest technological innovations. Yet, as this ad showcases so beautifully, it’s the societal and cultural shifts that have occurred over the past decades that are the most profound.
As Adam Wood, Marketing Director of Renault UK, explains, “We wanted to humanise and celebrate, not just thirty years of progress of the Renault Clio, but also the progress made within culture, society and life in that time.”
In the midst of an industry in which women are routinely relegated to the role of passenger at best, the ads’ two strong female protagonists are a breath of fresh air. Yet far from being tokenism, the strength of the ad, which beautifully spins the tale of their love story across the decades, is the universality of the experience it communicates.
This is the kind of advertising that people get into advertising to make. A reminder of the creative opportunity that changing the narrative affords. A narrative which successfully challenges the way in which women’s power and love is routinely suffocated in pursuit of peace and quiet. A status quo that all too often puts the female experience firmly in the back seat.
As Ferrante famously wrote, “Even today, after a century of feminism, we can’t fully be ourselves.” Who would have predicted that a Renault Clio ad would puncture this silence and give us, in the age of Uber, a reason to fall in love with car advertising again.