Perrier Unveils Branded Entertainment Short Film Inspired by '2001: A Space Odyssey' (Video)

Ad agency Ogilvy & Mather produced the ad that mixes French auteur cinema with Hollywood appeal.

PARIS - Global ad agency Ogilvy & Mather Paris is looking to make a splash in the branded entertainment space with a new short film for Perrier that references classic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, among other things.

The short, entitled Le Drop, is part of the company’s strategy that mixes French auteur cinema with Hollywood's mainstream appeal to attract consumers. It features a woman who heads into space on a scorching hot day as the world watches in anticipation before she cracks open a bottle of Perrier to quench her thirst and cool  Earth.

Ogilvy & Mather describes the film as “extreme refreshment when things turn hot." Ogilvy France chief creative officer Chris Garbutt says the short film directed by Johan Renck was inspired by “independent film, 2001: A Space Odyssey and French cinematographic history."

“This time the challenge was to produce an epic film with a script that could belong to a blockbuster film, but in a brand new way,” Garbutt told THR, namely a French original and premium way that marks a shift from the traditional popcorn movie.”

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Perrier and Ogilvy are hoping that viewers will see Le Drop as a work of art and not simply as an advertisement. "Perrier Le Drop is futuristic but at the same time you have remembrances of a kind of Space Odyssey, but with a French touch and elegance.This approach really was inspired by the cinema," added Ogilvy & Mather’s general director Benoit DeFleurian.

Le Drop shot for a full week in Buenos Aires, Argentina and involved months of post-production work. “It’s very hard to do luxury and science fiction at the same time,” creative trio Baptiste Clinet, Florian Bodet and Nicolas Lautier explained, adding that “the big challenge was first the idea of going to the sun which is very hard!”

The special effects-ridden short involved storyboard artists, designers, prop coordinators and post-production techniques. Filmmakers also worked with ubiquitous French visual effects house Mikros Image, the force behind recent films such as Cannes Palme d’Or-winner Amour from Michael Haneke and Jacques Audiard’s Cannes Competition title Rust & Bone and winner of this year’s Cesar awards technical prize. Music was handled by the Grabuge Company.

The new “short film commercial” may be on its way to becoming a new genre as branded entertainment takes on Hollywood. "Brands are using more and more codes of the cinema. And the lines are becoming more blurry between brand entertainment and entertainment, because people just want to be entertained", executive director brand entertainment content & head of digital Fred Levron said. “It's part physical part emotional.”

Watch the clip below.