The new Renault Zoe advert

‘The latest Renault Zoe campaign sucks the venom out of That’s Entertainment like a nuclear-powered Dyson’

Kicked-in phone boxes, ripped-up concrete, wailing police sirens … That’s Entertainment isn’t so much a pop song as a slideshow of curdled urban vignettes, as if Paul Weller had been commissioned to write the origin story of Broken Britain. Yet for all the barely suppressed anger, it’s also a Jam track that’s unusually almost entirely played on acoustic guitar. Going unplugged should have inoculated the song from the current pandemic of gauzily acoustic covers that soundtrack adverts at Christmas and beyond, mutating familiar hits into lullaby bubblebath. No such luck.

The latest Renault Zoe campaign – spotlighting the veteran carmaker’s flagship 100% electric vehicle – sucks the venom out of That’s Entertainment like a nuclear-powered Dyson. After the first few harp arpeggios, it’s clear they’ve gone full sugarplum. Adding insult to infamy, the inspiration-starved creatives also strip-mine Weller’s lyrics for storyboarding purposes. In a montage, a Zoe-driving dude with the blandly handsome features of a video game’s default avatar faces a gauntlet of chaotic streets crammed with volatile citizens. Navigating this urban centre as it teeters on the brink of societal collapse is a breeze for PS4 man thanks to his eerily silent and impressively soundproofed supermini. Here the Zoe is positioned as part-flotation tank, part-escape capsule. That seems to fatally misjudge the target market: if you’re buying an electric car, you’re pretty serious about wanting to save the planet, rather than looking for selfish ways to insulate yourself from it. Despite all the Zoe’s innovations in battery technology, it falls a bit flat.


Graeme Virtue

The GuardianTramp

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