By CAMILLA PALMER, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 06 September 2002 12:00AM
The 60-second black-and-white commercial, called "Vive le fcuk", features a young British man obsessed with Gallic cool.
He lives out his dream of being the cinema icon Jean Paul Belmondo by smoking Luckies, wearing loud suits and acting like the characters he idolises.
In his fantasy, he falls in love with a beautiful girl, and they race around the streets together.
Neither of the pair actually wear clothes from French Connection.
However, the film sums up the brand essence of the fashion retailer, according to TBWA's chairman, Trevor Beattie, who adapted the film along with the art director Bil Bungay. The commercial finishes with the strapline: "French Connection. United Kingdom. Vive le fcuk!"
Running in cinemas from 13 September, the ad is backed by a number of press and poster executions showing models this time wearing French Connection clothes and accompanied by appropriate "franglais" expressions. A man performing a handstand is juxtaposed with "Arse over tete and a model lounging in lingerie with "Oo er madame".
Further executions show a model wearing jeans asking "Does mon derriere look grand in this? and a man swaddled in a coat next to the strapline "A perfect dix".
McDonald's original film was nominated for a Bafta in 2000, and was seen as the perfect fit for fcuk's brand image. Beattie said: "We wanted to throw some optimism out there - I think this is the most uplifting campaign we have ever run for fcuk. It's time for a little joie de vivre."
McDonald was a 2002 Campaign Face to Watch and he directs through The Paul Weiland Film Company.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk