Citroen Aims For The Funny Bone, Misses By A Mile, With Build-A-Date Campaign

October 6, 2010
Screencap from Citroen 'Dating 2.0' campaign

Screencap from Citroen 'Dating 2.0' campaign

Europe can be a confusing place for Americans. The streets are narrower, the coffee is stronger, and everything seems historic. The cars are different there, too -- and so are the car ads. Case in point: the latest campaign from Citroen, called "Dating 2.0".

At heart, the campaign's conceit is pretty simple: Citroen uses dating as a metaphor for choosing the perfect car. We feel like we've seen this done several times before, although we can't think of any comparisons right now. Take a look at the campaign ad, and maybe something will jog your memory:

And that's what happens when a not-so-bad concept gets ruined by fresh-out-of-college copywriters.

If the creative team had given the female character a couple of snappy, sassy lines, the outcome might've been different. (Think Weird Science.) But as it is, this clip looks like something Don Draper might've devised before Peggy smacked some sense into him: dated, clichéd, and offensive. We can only hope there's a follow-up on the way that's just as terrible to guys.

Things are a little less confusing and more egalitarian on the campaign's website, There, visitors choose their ideal qualities in a companion, click a button or two, and voila: Citroen presents you with your perfect date and the perfect car to go with it. The outcomes are a little bizarre -- our date was nothing like what we expected -- but at least it didn't make us wince.

We don't necessarily hate this campaign (though if you wanted to, no one would stop you). But we are left wondering whether Jean-Paul Goude is still alive. Because that man knew how to make a memorable Citroen ad:


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