TV Commercials Trump Programming

L’Odyssee de Cartier

I’ve never shopped at Cartier or eaten at Chipotle…two ends of the economic spectrum for sure…but both companies deserve a round of applause for stepping up to the plate and producing short films that, when aired as TV commercials, outshine 99% of standard TV commercials and full-length TV fare for that matter.

Cartier and Chipotle not only intelligently utilize the medium to its fullest, incorporating high-end computer-generated imagery and powerful music scores, but also never lose sight of the strengths of on-location filmmaking (Cartier) and the power of traditional animation (Chipotle).  In short, they don’t let technology short-circuit their mission and message.  In both instances, the “advertiser” respects their viewer/customers’ intelligence enough to take the medium to a higher level.  How refreshing!

Another plus worth noting:  Cartier and Chipotle clearly show via these films (and in the case of Cartier, its production notes) that their corporate brand and mission promote the humane treatment of animals.   

I caught the Cartier film on-air today (3/11/12) during “CBS News Sunday Morning.” This exquisite film, “L’Odyssee de Cartier,” follows a panther (the historic icon of the House of Cartier) as it transforms from a bejeweled treasure into a live animal that traverses European locations that morph into mystical terrain inhabited by jewel-like flora and reptilian creatures.  All evolve into iconic pieces of Cartier jewelry.  This magical film could stand comfortably toe-to-toe with any recent fantasy feature film that melds live action with computer technology to tell and sell a story.  The film was shot by French director Bruno Aveillan and scored by composer Pierre Adenot, who recorded the score at historic Abbey Road Studios in London.  

I’ve already written about the Chipotle commercial, “Back to the Start,” on Facebook when the mini-masterpiece premiered on-air during the “Grammy Awards” in February. I was knocked out by Chipotle’s gutsy message featuring Willie Nelson’s plaintive voice promoting their healthy approach to farming meat and produce. I’ve not yet eaten at Chipotle’s, but I’m encouraged to by their promotion of the humane treatment of animals, the sustainable approach to agriculture, their inspired use of traditional model animation and the choice of my fave Willie Nelson singing Coldplay’s haunting “The Scientist” on the soundtrack.–Judith Trojan

About Judith Trojan

Judith Trojan is an Award-winning journalist who has written and edited several thousand film and TV reviews and celebrity profiles.
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2 Responses to TV Commercials Trump Programming

  1. Judy,
    I saw the Cartier commercial on Sunday and was fascinated by it the first time. The second time, I clicked elsewhere. It was beautiful, but far too long and I didn’t need to wade through it again.


    • I don’t think it’s meant to be viewed (i.e., as a commercial) twice in succession. Yes, it’s long; but how many commercials can stand up to back-to-back repeat screenings, no matter how short, beautiful or comical? I actually found a second viewing even more fascinating. The images are so rich and so “Cartier” that one viewing doesn’t do it justice. As a commercial, it works for me because it immediately catches one’s attention with its visual beauty and intelligent use of the medium.


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