Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Contempt’ (1963) 


A cinematic movement in the 1960s celebrated for its rejection of traditional narrative techniques and spirit of youthful iconoclasm, the French New Wave is proving an inspiration for ad creatives. 


New Wave influence is apparent in contemporary cinema – look no further than the ultimate film-buff turned film-maker Quentin Tarantino who named his production company ‘A Band Apart’ after the Godard film – but also the worlds of music, fashion and increasingly in advertising.  Here are the top five adverts pastiching the work of Truffaut, Demy and the other young Turks of French cinema. 


1. Miss Dior Cherie


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This television spot for Miss Dior Cherie, directed by Sofia Coppolla (‘Lost in Translation’), pays homage to Jacques Demy’s candy-coloured musical ‘The Umbrellas of Cherbourg’ (1964), and the image of model Maryna Linchuk floated over Paris by a bouquet of balloons quotes Albert Lamorisse’s magical short ‘The Red Balloon’ (1956).


2. American Express


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Hipster-darling Wes Anderson (‘Rushmore’) directed this witty American Express advert inspired by Francois Truffaut’s ‘Day for Night’ (1973) about a harried film director. Also the ad makes use of Georges Delerue’s exultant score from the film.


3. Stella Artois


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This campaign for Stella Artois 4% Smooth Originals, which won the Gold Film Lion at Cannes, supposes with tongue-in-cheek: what if ‘8 Mile’, ‘Die Hard’ and television show ’24’ were remakes of forgotten New Wave classics? ‘Vint-Quatre Heures’ is a parody of Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Contempt’ (1963), with an extra dollop of existential ennui.


4. Oliver Peoples


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A campaign for eyewear company Oliver Peoples, shot by photographer Lisa Eisner and featuring neo-hippy Devendra Banhart, takes inspiration from Godard’s ‘A Married Woman’ (1964).


5. Chanel Bleu



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This spot for Chanel’s fragrance for men, directed by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese (‘Taxi Driver’), has a strong New Wave feel with its fast editing, French lead actor, and Bolex 16mm black and white, though it more explicitly quotes Michelangelo Antonioni’s ‘swinging London’ set ‘Blow-Up’ (1966).



Tweet us @ImageSource to send us any New Wave inspired ads we might have missed and we’ll add them to the list!




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