14 August 2010

Menton or Gisburn - the Renault Mégane Experiment

If you are British you've probably seen the new Renault Mégane TV advert which asks 'Can a car change a town?' and compares Menton with the Lancastrian village of Gisburn (population 500). The advert is based on a cleverly-designed spoof of market research: according to Renault, statistics show that towns with more Méganes, such as Menton are happier, have higher rates of fertility, and longer life expectancies.

The teaser ad shows a swimming pool in Menton contrasted with a puddle in Gisburn; a glamorous French couple sipping wine with a frumpy couple drinking tea from a thermos flask; and designer shoes with an old pair of slippers.

To put this theory to the test, they send Claude, a consultant in 'joie de vivre' to Gisburn, a village with no Méganes and apparently very little joie de vivre at all.... to conduct 'The Mégane Experiment'. The hapless Claude - a kind of Gallic Borat - tries to woo the locals with the chance to win a free Mégane, but receives in return only blank stares. To read MORE click on the link.

The advert caused a few ruffled feathers in Gisburn but Menton is more than happy to bask in the free publicity and Nice-Matin recently devoted the whole of its backpage (Menton edition) to the story.

Click on the following documentary to see the whole story. It lasts for eleven minutes but truly it's very funny - make a cup of coffee, sit back and do watch! Claude is amazing!


  1. THANK YOU for a very very nice posting!!
    ( Still smiling.... good advert!! )
    Enjoy your weekend!!:)

  2. As a frenchman working for the mentioned company, dealing with Meganes 5 days a week when I'm working, and having lived in Preston and other parts of Lancashire for a while, I can only say, without kissing my employer's ... foot, and in me best british: BLOODY EXCELLENT, MATE!

  3. I'll be smiling all day. I forwarded this to my daughter living in England. Thank you for this post.

  4. Claude made my day! Thanks for sharing him.

  5. That's funny! I will watch the video when I get my speakers working, darn.

  6. Claude certainly doesn't discourage easily, does he? What a bunch of poops they were until the festival. Thank goodness for Claude and the children. :-) I'd like Claude very much if he gave ME a new car.

    Thanks for this post.

    Ken B.

  7. The view in this photo reminds me that I was a bird sometime long ago :-) soo beautiful!
    And I love my Mazda.

  8. I intend to watch that full video later today! Now, this is interesting - I recently saw an ad for Meganes here in Australia (there aren't meany of them - more Clios from Renault I would think), and even tho it wasn't the comparison thing (sunn Oz v sunny France - close call!!) but I DID think I recognised the backdrop town of the ad, and almost mentioned it to Piero! Will look out for it again, not that I watch much TV with ads!

  9. I haven't come across this ad yet. But will look out for it.

  10. It's definitely funny (and smart). Excellent Jilly !!!

  11. I watched the full video and also researched the video showing the ad, it's a fun project.

    I like the comparison you make between the main character and Borat, it's quite adequate.

    The story is a good reminder of how lucky you are to live in Menton. Enjoy!


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