I don’t really like running (currently operating) carmakers’ ads in stories unless I’m going to mock them, though occasionally I have admitted my profound admiration for a particularly well-crafted ad campaign. This is one of those times when a bit of advertising just proves to be charming enough to worth a mention. Plus, it’s from Citroën, who doesn’t even sell cars here, so I can’t be that big a shill.
Here’s the ad, which Citroën sent out in a tweet. Maybe it’s on other venues like Minitel or whatever, but I’m not sure:
The style of the animation is what’s so appealing. It’s CG, but stylistically it feels strangely like the American 1930s to 1940s WPA-type style, in form, line quality, color palettes, and more, right down to the agricultural setting of the animation, which is fitting for the ad, as it references the 2CV’s famous early design brief to be a sort of farmers’ car where they could drive over a plowed field with a basket of eggs on the seat without breaking a single egg.
You can see some examples of what I’m talking about here, in these two paintings. The one on the left is Grant Wood’s (of American Gothic fame) Death on Ridge Road of 1935, and the right one is Thomas Hart Benton’s Missouri Landscape.
To compare here’s some screenshots of the Citroën video:
I think there’s something there? I also noticed another interesting stylistic parallel:
This reference may be a bit closer to home for Citroën, as I found some of it to remind me of Fernand Leger, the French Cubist, especially in the palette and the way the images are actually rendered.
Maybe I’m reading more into this than is merited, but I haven’t seen this type of artwork animated all that often, and I think it’s a very appropriate choice for Citroën to celebrate the 2CV’s heritage of comfort and non-egg-breaking, and if that puts me in the pocket of Big Citroën, then, well, I’d like my check, please.