Showing posts with label French publicity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label French publicity. Show all posts

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Road safety fashion

Soon, in France, our automobiles will have to carry, in the trunk, a red plastic triangle and a fluorescent vest.

This promotional photo featuring the fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is very French. The text says: "It's yellow. It's ugly. It doesn't go with anything. But it can save your life." I approve of this mild kind of second-degree humor. I believe that most French viewers will get the message, and retain it... which is all that matters.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

High-speed tra-la-la

Click the following banner to visit an exotic French-language website that appears to have something to do with high-speed trains, because it carries the French railways SNCF logo. But I warn readers that they might not understand anything whatsoever in this website, above all in the animated films that you're invited to watch. I say this, not because the website is allegedly in French, but because of what you might call its "style". Above all, don't search around in this website if your aim is to book a seat on a French train. By the time you start to fathom out what this website is all about, your train will have blown its whistle and left the station. On the other hand, enlightened adolescent viewers of all backgrounds [not necessarily French] will probably find this stuff perfectly comprehensible, indeed ingenious and awesome.

Need I say more? Or more exactly: Am I capable (even though I understand the French language) of explaining things to any greater extent? Well, I can at least provide you with a few superficial clues, but I wouldn't claim that they'll help you in understanding the profound sense of this website.

— First, the website has been created by folk who call themselves iDTGV. Here, the final three letters stand, of course, for train à grande vitesse: high-speed train. This acronym is so familiar now that it even exists in the standard English dictionary of my Macintosh. The first two letters, iD, would appear to be an Apple-inspired way of evoking the French word idée: idea. So, iDTGV is no doubt a group of creators with ideas for marketing train travel to adolescent clients. And the website and its animated videos starring Zen and Zap are probably their first major production.

— The hero Zen is a young male, and the heroine Zap a young female. They happen to be traveling in the same high-speed train, but it goes without saying that they would have never met up personally were it not for the creative efforts of the nice and thoughtful iDTGV folk.

Well, that's as much help as I'm going to give you [as I'm able to give you]. You should be able to take it away from there. I vaguely suspect that, through iDTGV, adolescents on train trips will be able to make their presence known, get in contact with other adolescents on the same train, and participate in all kinds of high-speed tra-la-la during their brief time in the TGV. Awesome, no? Let me know if you've understood the situation differently or better than I did.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Trains that run on time

Civilized humanity is thinking today, of course, about the earth-shaking events of a certain September 11, seen by most of us on TV, that nobody is likely to forget.

Jumping from one subject to another. In France, there's a profound old saying: Nobody's interested in trains that run on time. It means that people are concerned—indeed excited—by things that go wrong [look, for example, at the mind-boggling drama of the McCann vacation in Portugal], whereas we tend to forget about things that go right.

French trains have the habit of running on time, and this means that they're rarely front-page news... except when they break speed records. See my blog of 3 April 2007 entitled Fast track [display].

The publicity people working for the French railway system, called SNCF, have produced a nice website based upon the theme that nobody's interested in trains that run on time. It starts out by suggesting that maybe you might be interested in an exotic animal known as the Crowned Propithecus of Madagascar.

Chances are that you're even less interested in this beast than in French trains that run on time. So, we're back to scratch... unless you click the above banner, to see a delightful mini-show of the beast talking and acting like a robotic SNCF lady. Brilliant publicity work.