Maybe it’s the fact it’s been repeated a lot recently, but something nauseates when it comes to the Renault Megane adverts currently being screened in the UK. Seeking not to promote a car, but merely to make and reinforce pointless and spurious comparisons between a colder, less sunny town in the north of England and a supposedly happier town in the south of France, this advert is pure evil.
Firstly, let’s talk about the stereotypes. French men have to have 2 days worth of stubble (at least), must not be able to learn any proper English or master the wholly simple English accent. Furthermore, in order to look stylish, they must also wear a cravat. A cravat? No, not a cravat in the sense of “oh, that’s what the French call a tie”. No. Something that only quite old people (or eccentric) or both, wear. Think of David Niven and you’ll probably know what a cravat is.
I’ll not dwell on the English stereotypes, but a more contrived sample of people you could not even conjure up. Wonky teeth, over-weight, classical “Northern” i.e. Lancashire, accent and lacking the oh so sophisticated Gallic flair.
So, some people from Gisburn haven’t left England? I bet some people from fucking Menton haven’t left France either; backward looking, ignorant peasants. I’ll also bet however that everyone in Gisburn can rely on an indoor toilet.
So whilst I’ve dished out a few stereotypes of my own there (merely to make a point you understand), what really annoys me is that there can only be a couple of explanations for such an ad. Firstly, it’s serious in which case it wants to undo more than a century of entente cordiale; which would be bad. Or perhaps secondly, it is meant to be funny, a parody or ironic in some clumsy way. In which case it has failed.
And amongst all of this, there is not one thing I find funny.
Renault ought to be boycotted by any living Englishman AND Frenchman for such obvious cliches and hackneyed comparisons. Likewise the ad agency Publicis (another great Anglo-French coming together?) for having the barefaced cheek to produce such twaddle.
In any case, the newer Megane looks like a Ford Focus (a much better car) and the ad for its predecessor was far superior, due to it actually having a sense of humour and for it advertising quite an interesting looking car.
Oh well, c’est la vie…enjoy the far superior ad with much posterior