Can Publicis improve on the Mona Lisa in new DS campaign?

DS is Peugeot Citroen’s premium automobile range, and it clearly doesn’t want to be confused with any of the more pedestrian car models.

For the new DS 3 Cross-Back, DS and its ad agency — described as “Publicis La Maison x Marcel” — have come up with a campaign that has more in common with a fashion or perfume brand than a car.

Three 20-second films treat us to some baffling but beautiful tableaux, playing around with sacred French icons like the Mona Lisa and Joan of Arc, intercut with shots of a very shiny car. The viewer is urged to “Respect nothing but your convictions” or “Break icons to create new ones.”

Like Mercedes’ recent “Play by your rules” campaign by Antoni Garage, the DS work has come from a predominantly female team, on both agency and client side.

The campaign is running in 16 countries across Europe including the UK, Italy, Spain, and Germany.

MAA creative scale: 6

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.