By now, many have probably seen Cartier’s stunning new film, hailed for its obviously obscene budget, impressive cinematography, and cutting-edge visual effects. I first saw the three and a half minute piece as a preview in the movie theatre. Perhaps the theatre is the perfect place to achieve the epic impression Cartier was trying to make on its viewers. With an alleged budget of four million euros, the film translates Cartier’s history into an epic tale, making it memorable and altogether untraditional. But the film also airs as a commercial on television; so what exactly does the spot function as?
Its film is supported by a microsite, containing bonus features that detail the making of, score, company history, and the specific jewelry associated with each of the featured settings in the film. The microsite bends the spot towards entertainment—content to be investigated—whose quality may attract viewers on a purely artistic basis. But behind its artful quality, the Cartier brand is centered at its core. The film chronicles the adventures of the Cartier panther, following its travels across geographies and seasons. Its direct links to the milestones of Cartier’s history, though obscure to viewers who may not know much about the brand, are certainly apparent: “Panther” was the nickname of the legendary Cartier jewelry designer Jeanne Toussaint, who created the first panther jewels for the Duchess of Windsor in the 1950s. Luxury Activist succinctly lists additional examples that trigger viewers to decode the film’s numerous elements. By allowing the story to function autonomously on its own aesthetic and artistic feet, while also revealing enough for viewers to recognize the brand story behind it, the film manages to even further inextricably intertwine the words Cartier, luxury, and art.