NEWS: Talking car leads new Publicis Renault push

A talking car, its driver and his blossoming relationship with a new girlfriend are the ingredients of Renault’s campaign to launch its latest model, the Megane, into Britain.

A talking car, its driver and his blossoming relationship with a new

girlfriend are the ingredients of Renault’s campaign to launch its

latest model, the Megane, into Britain.



Three new films, the first of which will break nationally on Monday,

keep up the episodic formula established for the French carmaker by

Publicis in the UK with Papa and Nicole under the theme: ‘The new

Renault Megane. It talks your language.’



The Megane deposes the Renault 19 as the company’s representative in the

fiercely competitive lower-medium sector of the UK market, which

accounts for a third of total UK car sales.



It will compete against established models such as the Ford Escort, the

Vauxhall Astra, the Rover 200 and the VW Golf as well as newcomers like

the Nissan Almera.



In the Richard Loncraine-directed films, the car becomes the driver’s

accomplice and his alter ego, commenting on the charms of his girlfriend

and poking fun when her small brother thrashes him at tennis.



Mel Williams, the Publicis senior art director who devised the ads with

his art director, Tago Byers, said: ‘The dialogue the driver has with

his car is just like the one he would have with a mate. It’s difficult

to do and we had to be careful not to make the films so naff that they

looked like episodes of Knightrider.’



Renault has a lot riding on the Megane because the lower-medium sector

is the only significant growth area in a UK market where sales grew by

only 1.8 per cent last year.



Against that background, Renault has maintained a healthy performance in

the UK, claiming a record 6.2 per cent of the market last year.



The ‘talks your language’ line will run across all media including TV,

96-sheet posters and press. Media has been handled by Optimedia.