Renault introduces Claude the 'joie' expert

Publicis has launched the main part of the Renault 'Mégane Experiment' campaign, with the release of a 60-second TV ad last night.

The campaign asks: "Can a car change a town?", and follows Claude, an actor from the village of Menton in Cote d’Azur, France, who goes to Gisburn in Lancashire.

He appears in 'Young', which was first seen during 'Coronation Street' on ITV1 last night. Other spots, planned and bought by OMD, will also feature during 'Location, Location, Location' and 'Big Brother'.

Claude is a self-proclaimed "joie de vivre" expert and he attempts to educate the people of Gisburn on the subject, while introducing the Mégane car model as being able to bring joie or joy to the city.

Oscar-nominated Henry-Alex Rubin who describes Claude as a "French Borat with a heart" directed the film. Rubin received the Oscar nomination for co-directing the wheelchair rugby documentary, 'Murderball'.

The start of the campaign, released in late July, used still images to compare the beautiful Cote d’Azur region, where there are many Méganes, to the dull Gisburn, where there are none.

Phil York, Renault UK marketing director, said: "We wanted a campaign which broke from the norm, so a humorous, light-hearted Anglo-French cultural comparison of two such distinct villages works well for our brand.

"The Mégane is an iconic symbol of French ‘joie de vivre’ and we’re hopeful that getting more of them on the road over here will not just bring a little more happiness to the residents of Gisburn, but also the rest of Britain too."

Other short video clips featuring Claude and his English friend Hughie can be seen at Themeganeexperiment.com.

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