Cartier’s new 2012 campaign is perhaps one of the most exquisite commercials I have ever seen. And for a media student like moi, who spends her time dissecting the flaws of Armani Diamonds and relating it back to Laura Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze, that is saying a lot. Directed by Bruno Aveillan, the commercial is built upon praising Cartier’s rich heritage, highlighting its universalism, its luxury jewelry, and its gorgeous grasp on visual style.
The infamous Cartier panther takes us on a journey from the Maison’s Paris store (where the animal is born out of diamonds and emeralds), through to the wintery grounds of St. Petersburg, passing Maria Pavlovna who was a Russian Grand Duchess. The panther voyages on to the charcoal rocks of China where it encounters the Chinese Dragon at the Great Wall, before creeping into an Indian palace, complete with bejeweled lizards, peacocks, and butterflies that sparkle in the weak luminosity of the foyer.
The introduction to one of the first wristwatches, ordered in 1904 by aviator Alberto Santos Dumont , is another figure that the panther approaches. The rich cream of the airplane glitters golden in the sunlight where it is revealed that the panther is emerging not from a simple palace, but one that is placed on the back of a sweet elephant. The panther’s final destination is another palace-like structure where it meets the modern woman, who is adorned with Cartier jewels, before they disappear into the ruby-red signature Cartier jewelry box.
I was blown away by the film technologies used in this commercial and hope for many more Cartier productions to emerge in the coming years.