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Films, Modern Films

New Orange advert with Potiche: it’s funny because we can’t speak French

Watch the full ad here.

I’m really pleased that Orange has decided to expand its ‘Turn your phone off’ adverts to include World Cinema. This genre of film is often overlooked by the general public because of the endless subtitles required to understand the plot (unless you have a decent grasp of the language in question). Personally I don’t see this as a barrier to enjoying a good story, and many of my favourite films have not been produced in English, such as Bad Education, Volver and Devdas. However, in the case of this short clip, the marketing men have cleverly used the language barrier to good effect, by giving the French piece Potiche the Orange subtitling treatment.

The premise of the Orange adverts, in case you’ve been living under a rock in recent years, are to show that mobile phones can interfere with the enjoyment of going to the cinema, though they choose to depict this through the changing of the entire plot. Here we see Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu leading a cast who struggle when faced with a phone-related illness, which of course gets a good laugh from the audience. The real story of Potiche is the triumph of Deneuve when she takes over her ailing husband’s business and becomes so much more than the trophy wife (which translates as ‘potiche’ in French) of the title. It’s about liberation and rising above people’s expectations of you. I am hoping to see the actual film very soon, but until then I’m happy to be tickled by this spoof trailer. I know it could be seen as ruining a perfectly good script, but in this case I’m sure it’s given the box office figures a good boost, and if it helps to raise the profile of World Cinema then it can only be a bonus.

Keep up the good work, Orange marketing folks.



About Polly

I'm a journalist, based near Brighton. This blog, which is separate from my professional life, will document my reaction to current affairs, as well as some personal projects.


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