dimanche 5 mai 2013

Deconstructing the Oasis ad

There's an ad campaign currently gracing the métro platforms that I just love.  Not because of the product it's shilling (Oasis, a kind of Hawaiian Punch sugary "fruit" drink), but because it has a billion neat language layers to it.  There's tons going on underneath the rather immature graphics but you have to be a local to get it.  That's not really a good strategy for any ad campaign that's seen by loads of tourists, but I guess the Artistic Director didn't think beyond the native population during the strategy meetings.

Here's the ad:

"Paris, Ville Métropicale", or "Paris, A metrotropical city."...because Oasis is Tropical!  And you have what I assume is a mango with a backpack and sleeproll waiting on a métro platform while the train is entering (or maybe exiting) the station.
I always like métro ads that feature people (or fruits, in this case) that are IN THE METRO.  It gives the ad a sense of mise-en-abyme, or a fractal dimension that makes me think I'm in a Borges story.  It's so exciting to ponder this while I wait for the number eight to come along.

 Now this is really funny if you know your métro stations. "Cocomartin" is a play on words for the "Caumartin" station (actually Havre-Caumartin; you can just see a trace of the "re" in the ad).  Because, well, you know Oasis is TROPICAL! and so are coconuts.

This is the crown jewel of the ad's jokes.  Mr. Mango is holding a sign indicating that he wants to go to "Pere La Fraise"  A "fraise" is a strawberry, which is a TROPICAL fruit!  The Oasis people are, of course, refering to the famous Parisian cemetary Pere Lachaise.  Although I'm mystified as to why this guy would be hitchhiking when he is in a métro station.  Just take the train, Mr. Mango!

Lastly, Mr. Orange is sitting in front of a métro poster which displays a tenuous grasp of the English language.  "What Fruit You Expect" is mocking a real ad for Schweppes in which Uma Thurman lounges around in a chiffon gown and says "What do you expect?" when her interviewer asks her something about what beverage she is drinking.  (That Schweppes ad is actually terrible, come to think of it.)  I guess the Oasis people thought "fruit" sounded like "do", and, perhaps if the speaker is French, they aren't wrong.

2 commentaires:

  1. They often have ads at the cinema during the previews, and I always have to laugh at the Orange going over the waterfall yelling "I'm Fruiiitttt" (with the French pronunciation, so it sounds similar to Free).

  2. I never thought about that "metro-in-the-metro" thing before. I'll be looking out for this ad next time I'm on Line 8!