‘This is Evian’ or ‘This is Wes Anderson’: PBB’s Verdict on Latest Evian Campaign

Evian is widely regarded as a premium brand, not only for its fresh mineral water offering, but also its collaborations with Diane von Fürstenburg, Alexander Wang, amongst others in the design of their limited edition bottles. The French brand is also known for some pretty awesome ad campaigns, notably the ‘Live Young’ campaign winning Time Magazine’s 2010 Advertisement of the Year and the ‘Baby & Me’ campaign topping the YouTube ad leaderboard in 2013. There have since been several iterations of this theme under the ‘Live Young’ banner with the most recent coming last year.

 

Last week though, Evian took a step away from the tried and tested baby formula (pun intended) with ‘This is Evian’ a new YouTube campaign, introducing viewers to the town of Evian, taking them to the source. Although this quaint spa town in the French Alps has scenic charm for days, the YouTube ad attempts to pair Evian’s natural beauty and tranquility with the visual style used in Wes Anderson films, particularly the Grand Budapest Hotel. The commercial incorporates symmetry, quirky style of dialogue and even whimsical color palettes, all hallmarks of the Anderson toolkit.

 

The problem here is that they are using these effects to foster an awkward and humorous feel, except it’s just awkward. This is front and center at the 1:09 mark; a symmetrical shot where two tourists, conveniently named Gary and Terry, both from Hong Kong (more likely central casting), clumsily introduce themselves one after the other in front of the iconic Source Cachat. This contrived offbeat style seems at odds with Evian’s values and simply doesn’t flow naturally.

It’s only after this cringeworthy scene, a whole minute and half into the ad that the useful information begins to trickle on how the naturally enriched and filtered Evian water is bottled in a sustainable way; all while sustaining a cheap imitation of Anderson’s brand of deadpan humor. It’s brave (and a bit naive) for a premium brand like Evian to attempt to replicate such a distinct style, especially when they could have just gotten the man himself to do it like Prada did. After all, Anderson’s Isle of Dogs is out in the theaters this week and they could’ve ridden the PR wave.