….and not the Renault Espace. To launch the new Espace, the actor Kevin Spacey is being used in the advertising campaign. And so is the Guggenheim in Bilbao. And a lot of clichés.
A few things arise from this. I’ll start with the background. It is another one of those sterile and highly unrealistic images where every pixel of the original photography has seemingly been removed, polished and improved so that the final image is utterly divorced from reality. I don’t believe in this picture. I don’t believe an Espace went to Bilbao and I don’t believe Spacey, the car and building were ever in sight of each other.
Only a shiny cardboard standee of Spacey would have looked less realistic. The narrative of the image is unbelievable too. Did Spacey really drive this car to Bilbao only to park the car at some remove from the museum? Did he drive in that suit? The exact theoretical location of this photo is really hard to determine too. Is this location possible in reality? The advert recalls the ludicrous image of Sean Connery and a Louis Vuitton bag:
….where we are asked to believe Connery was caught whiling away the time waiting for a boat to take him to another tropical island, as if Connery ever does this at his age. As if he would only carry his few items (Gun? Cigarettes? Wallet? Duty free?) in such a foolish handbag. I think the Connery image is the more stupid of the two but only by a whisker.
The Renault ad is visually much less plausible. It’s very grey, isn’t it? But there is some faint lens flair in the bottom right corner so this seems to be about 5.30 in the morning on a hazy Spanish day. What’s Spacey doing up that early? He looks like he’s leaving a restaurant, doesn’t he?
Lastly, I despair of the trend for car ads to feature unvegetated concrete environments devoid of people. For one thing I am convinced it is nudging people to pave their front gardens in the mistaken belief that a plant-free yard is somehow modern and aesthetically pleasing. The net result is to ruin the look of endless tracts of residential areas, aggravate heat island effects and worsen storm run off. It’s also rubbish for bees who miss the flowers.
Taken as a whole, the ad is a concatenation of clichés and based on shaky assumptions that star endorsements sell vehicles. What is the relationship of Spacey to the Espace? Is it as dumb as the fact the two names sound similar?
That’s all the rhetorical questions I can manage in one day.