Walking to the parliament in Brussels this morning around 7:00 a.m., I was struck by a billboard advertising “No Wind — No Fun”. I thought immediately of the delicious cassoulette I had enjoyed in a little French/Belgian restaurant yesterday evening. But I soon realised that the ad was featuring a new Renault car called, improbably, “Wind”. As you can see, the graphic illustrates a lad sitting on a sailboard in a desultory fashion and waiting hopefully for a bit of breeze.
Believe it or not, I used to be an enthusiastic board-sailor, so I know the feeling. I remember Sundays in Malaysia when we drove up from Malacca to the Port Dixon Yacht Club, sailboard strapped to the roof of my elderly Volvo. Though to be fair, there was rarely a shortage of wind at Port Dixon.
As a former marketing man (Procter & Gamble 1965), I am well aware that a major poster campaign needs not just a single execution, but a “pool” of related ads, and I found myself wondering what else they could do on the same theme.
Maybe a clipper ship becalmed, like Coleridge’s “painted ship upon a painted ocean”? Or a little lad with a kite he was unable to fly?
And then it struck me. What Renault needs is a montage of wind turbines. And the slogan? “No Wind — No Power”. A lesson for us all.