You may think that in 2019 an advert showing a lesbian love story isn’t a big deal, but in the car industry it is. That’s why Renault’s new advert for the CLIO is making such waves online, garnering praise from gay Twitter, Pink News and an impressive 5.9k likes on YouTube. After all, when’s the last time you didn’t see a car advert follow a man’s journey through a desert, young woman easily fit her shopping bags in the boot, or a heterosexual couple carry their sleeping child from the back seat? This is an advert that breaks the norm and does it with grace, complete with all the magic of a rom-com film – childhood sweethearts, rain-soaked kisses, a star-crossed lovers’ storyline and a slow piano version of ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis. Powerful stuff.
The 2.10 long advert which has been launched to celebrate the CLIO’s 30-year anniversary shows the relationship between two British and French girls develop over three decades, the CLIO itself an important character literally driving the story onward; from childhood French exchange partners eating ice cream, playing on swings and cruising through sun-dappled France, to teenage lovers dancing to music, frolicking in the sea and having their first kiss – in a Renault CLIO, naturally.
Letters and photos are sent across the Channel, but their relationship is cut short by outraged parents. In adulthood, the French woman marries a man and the British woman looks on in despair, but this does not last for long. The marriage soon breaks down and the French woman once again makes the Channel crossing in her CLIO to find her first love.
The advert ends full circle, with the two now happily married, driving to the (now) welcoming British parents-in-law in the newest iteration of the CLIO; their own child in tow.
Since debuting last week, the Internet has erupted with emotion, with many viewers claiming to have cried whilst watching.
“shout out to the queer filmmaker who packed their great short film into a car ad [sic],” one Tweeted.
“I can’t believe this car ad is the best lesbian movie I’ve ever seen,” another joked.
Whilst accused by some as a clever example of Pink or Rainbow Capitalism – the exploitation of LGBTQ+ issues to market products – the sheer response to the advert is proof that not only do these adverts work, they are also sorely needed.