Cartier Ad – Over the top?


A few weeks ago (or maybe more) I saw a 15-second clip of this ad embedded in the NYT.  It intrigued me, because the production value looked exceptionally high – and for what?  Jewelry, apparently.  So I watched the whole thing – all 3 minutes and 30 seconds of it.

Now, I am by no means an advertisement expert, amateur or otherwise.  But even I can tell that this ad is a little out of the ordinary.  Quite frankly, it looks like a miniature movie, and the special effects, soundtrack, and, yes, it even has a kind of a plot, have a lushness and vitality (and length) that most ads I see don’t have.

But then I started thinking: All this money, and talent and for what?  To celebrate the 175th anniversary of a jewelry company.  Really?  Isn’t it incredibly pointless?

But then, I changed my mind again.  The question that popped into my mind wasn’t “what for”, but “why not”.  The ad actually presents a snapshot of Cartier’s history, and why not do it in odyssey fashion with a leopard and global sets?  Why not use talents where we can?  And it looks so fabulous.

Still have mixed feelings, but in the end, I’ve decided I like it.  What’s your take?

– Jean AAR

6 thoughts on “Cartier Ad – Over the top?

  1. LeeB.

    I liked it too. Not sure where it was going but I like traveling so that appealed to me. The jewelry was pretty too.

    At the end, though, I was expecting the leopard to turn into a man. :)

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  2. AAR Sandy

    I am an ad expert, so I’ll post from that perspective. This kind of thing is done primarily for internal purposes — to make the company and its employees feel good about the history and the quality of the company. Whatever bang for their buck they can make otherwise is gravy.

    Yes, this cost a LOT of money. But then Cartier has it.

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  3. Jean AAR Post author

    @LeeB – I thought the leopard would turn into a woman at the end. Then when I saw the woman, I thought the cat would shape shift into a man. Maybe that’s too cliched, though, for Cartier.

    @Sandy – I never thought of public ads as having internal or external purposes. If it’s primarily internal though, why circulate it publicly? As you say, on the off-chance of gravy? To show that the company has pride? Because they have money? Interesting!

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  4. AAR Sandy

    It may be cut down to a 60 or 30 second ad on TV. But Cartier has never been a mass market advertising kind of company. Occasional ads, but not TV. They don’t have to. They are a brand, just like Tiffany is a brand.

    At 3 minutes, this isn’t an “ad.” It’s a promotional statement about the company.

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  5. Lynda X

    I, too, saw it on tv and watched it at least twice. Nice job. It’s what ads should be–intriguing, original. There’s a perfume ad that I also like that’s occasionally on. You think the model on the walkway is Grace Kelly. It, too, is fun.

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