David Bowie Would've Enjoyed This Citroën Commercial

Let them eat their snobby cake

Hey man!

To hype its  ë-C3 electric vehicles, Citroën channels some vintage David Bowie spirit with lavish costumes, face powder and the revved-up riffs of "Suffragette City."

For the time-twisty, French Revolution-themed narrative, they wisely excluded the "Wham bam!" lyric near the track's end. That bit hasn't aged well.

The fresh work from BETC Paris and director Fredrik Bond feels akin to DB's theatrically stylized videos of the early-MTV era. 

Citroën | The Revolution Has Begun

And they all kept their heads. Vive le roi! (And ROI, too.)

"The tension point we leaned into is that generally speaking, for a long period of time, affluent consumers were the ones to first be able to embrace electric mobility, we wanted to show that driving an EV is no longer just for the elite in the most cinematic way possible," BETC senior creatives Matt Jones and Abi Stephenson tell Muse.

As for the song selection, "Bowie is a god," they say. "We wanted a track with an undercurrent of rebellion and punk energy, to match the high-octane visuals on screen."

A highlight from the shoot involved "seeing our creative director (Nick Bakshi) and designer (Anthony Tavares) as extras in the final moment where you see the rebels storming away with the cars with flares and flags. Don't just write the ad, star in it!"

Citroën has long leveraged pop-culture to generate buzz and mass appeal. The carmaker's Eiffel Tower installation (from 1925!) and films with Jean-Paul Goude and Grace Jones are the stuff of adland legend.


Ad Agency: BETC Paris
Chief Creative Officer: Stephane Xiberras
Creative Director: Nicholas Bakshi
Copywriter: Matt Jones
Art Director: Abi Stephenson
Designer: Anthony Tavares
Director: Fredrik Bond
Production Companies: Very Content, Stink

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