Renault Rafale: Sky’s the limit for this French classic

Renault RafaleNow we are into August, many of you will be heading off on your holidays and we too are taking a tour of Europe to review some of the latest marketing and advertising campaigns which are wooing our friends on the Continent.

And so to France, which seems like as good a place as any to start, where Renault is paying tribute to the icons of French aviation with a film that celebrates both the heritage and future of the brand, and the upcoming launch of the Renault Rafale hybrid coupé SUV.

Directed by Dan DiFelice, and created in collaboration with Publicis Conseil, it shows that while the story of Renault has primarily been written on the road, it has also been etched in the sky.

In 1933, at a time when civil aviation was making great strides, Renault acquired the manufacturer Caudron to create the company Caudron-Renault. From this union emerged, among others, a legendary aircraft: the Caudron-Renault Rafale. A machine with a rare performance that would leave an indelible mark in the history of conquering the sky. (You see, you learn something new every day with Decision Marketing.)

The film retraces the epic journey of Hélène Boucher, a female pilot who set several speed records, including the women’s world speed record over 1,000 kilometres, reaching 445 km/h on August 11 1934.

Renault pays tribute to her, as well as to Maryse Bastié and Adrienne Bolland, icons of French aviation, who pushed the established limits and opened the way to new possibilities. Their determination to fly higher, further, and faster has been a source of inspiration for generations of pilots and engineers.

It is said that her achievements not only pushed the boundaries of aviation during the Golden Era of flight, but also helped open doors for women in aviation. Less than a year later, Boucher died in a crash during a test flight in France, aged just 26.

The film opens in black and white and shows Boucher climbing into the aircraft as a small crowd and news teams look on. The plane soon takes off and is seen flying at great speed as she sets a new speed record. As the plane glides through the air it turns from black and white to a deep blue and then the shot switches on to the new Renault Rafale model.

As the plane is seen flying overhead, the endline reads simply: “In 1934, Hélène Boucherbroke speed and altitude records flying a Renault powered aircraft.”

Dan Difelice said: “It was an honour to get to touch on her story for the launching of the new Renault Rafale. She was an incredible aviator and feminist with a legacy deeply forged.”

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?

Well, first up, this is a beautifully shot ad, the like of which would rarely be seen in the UK these days. The car ads broadcast here are invariably part of pan-European campaigns, meaning they all look and feel very similar and have pan-European mass appeal. Families looking smug driving in the countryside; bright young things driving round towns, you know the score.

This ad on the other hand is classic French art; whether it will sell many Rafales, of course, is another matter but there is no doubting its beauty.

Decision Marketing Adometer: A “reach for the sky” 9 out of 10

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