Citroen is putting the final blocks in place for the global launch of its new C3 compact, to be backed from early-April with a massive campaign designed by Havas-owned Euro RSCG Worldwide.
The key element in the campaign is a new commercial created by Euro RSCG BLRS, Amsterdam, which out-pitched a host of other Euro RSCG agencies worldwide in an inter-agency review conducted by managers in Paris in late-2001.
The 30-second spot -- directed by Matthijs van Heijningen, for the Bandits production house -- shows a young couple out for a drive in the new C3. The tranquil "drive in the countryside" scenario is disrupted by the sudden arrival of a fighter jet. The pilot flies dangerously close, in the upside-down position, to get a better view of Citroen's new compact, as well as to flirt with the driver's comely lady-friend, through the car's convertible glass roof.
Pilot and driver proceed into a round of flying and driving maneuvers, to impress the female passenger, which ends with the fighter jet screeching for the sky. The victorious driver savors the moment, while viewers see the C3 pack-shot, over the signature slogan: "C3 - Life is Beautiful."
While some industry sources have panned the ad for not targeting a particular customer base, Nicolas Riou, head of Euro RSCG's Paris-based team coordinating Citroen's international advertising, says the spot is part of a wider positioning that aims to sell the C3 as "a car for everyone."
Internet, radio and press ads will complement the launch film, in a campaign scheduled to follow the C3 through the rest of 2002.
Citroen aims to sell 330,000 C3s in the coming 12 months, about one-third of which are destined for the domestic French market. The French carmaker will use the model to launch head-to-head competition with Renault's top-selling Clio and Volkswagen's Polo, as its principal entry to a sector representing nearly 40% of all cars sold in Europe.