DS Automobiles—a premium sub-brand from Citroën—is releasing a series of limited-edition 2017 models, including the DS 3 Inès de la Fressange (named after the French model and fashion designer) and the DS 4 Crossback Moondust.
Only 500 of the former, and 150 of the latter, will be produced for the French market (out of 1,000 and 210 units worldwide, respectively), making the cars so rare that it’s unlikely their paths will ever cross a model from the same family.
To promote that idea, Paris agency Marcel created “The Hidden Track,” a campaign that plays on that exclusivity while adding an easter egg to your life. When people buy either model, they can download a special app … which will kick off a super-rare track and music video, Empire of the Sun’s “On My Way Home,” if your super-special DS ever encounters another one.
“We seek to bring customers bespoke models and cultivate rarity so that each of them finds in their DS vehicle a touch that resembles them,” says DS Automobiles CEO Yves Bonnefont.
The exclusivity of these cars can’t be emphasized enough, because DS is itself an “exclusive” take on Citroën’s more mainstream models. Short for “Different Spirit” or “Distinctive Series,” the initials “DS” also sound like “déesse,” the French word for goddess (thanks, Wikipedia!).
And you feel plenty of that mystique in this campaign.
“Luxury is all about exclusivity,” Marcel chief creative officers Fabien Teichner, Dimitri Guerassimov and Anne de Maupeou tell AdFreak. “When DS … decided to launch ultra-limited and exclusive editions of their DS 3 model, we instantly felt the need to push this exclusivity as far as we can. So we decided to associate these ultra-exclusive models with ultra-exclusive content, available in ultra-exclusive circumstances.”
“On Our Way Home” was prepared by the Australian electro-pop band just for this campaign, and DS has exclusive rights to the song.
“We contacted a large number of prestigious music labels and great musicians, but Luke and Nick—the musical geniuses behind Empire of the Sun—were the ones that we instantly felt ready to get deeply involved in that project,” Marcel’s CCOs say. “This wasn’t a small ask: We needed them to create totally exclusive content of great quality, and work hard to create something that would be only available to a very limited number of people.”
Excerpts of the song will be revealed publicly via 20- and 30-second videos online, which provide a general sense of what to expect but play the “exclusivity” card hard. Each cuts off suddenly, with actors breaking character to explain that the rest is reserved for “the lucky few” limited-edition owners who are fortunate enough to ever see another one.
“Most of the DS Limited editions are DS 3 models, the most ‘pop’ and urban models from DS Automobile range, so Empire of the Sun was the perfect partner to grab [our target’s] attention,” the CCOs say. “Empire of the Sun is a popular and best-selling band with a strong visual universe known all over the globe … their new album was released in the same moment as the ad campaign, as they were starting a world tour.”
Marcel’s creative leads also shared a bit the music video, saying it was “crafted like a perfume ad—the story of two lovers that fight their way to each other, but can never meet. A bit like two limited-edition DS3 models.”
There’s some precedent for this campaign as well. In 2015, for the DS 3’s limited edition 1955 vehicle, an ad featured a man and woman in separate cars, singing “Le Chrome et le Coton” by Jérôme Echenoz. Shown below, it played on the same idea that drives “Hidden Track”—the pair want to cross paths, but it’s unlikely.
At the time, the tune was recognized as the second-most sought-after ad song on Shazam.
“The Hidden Track” will roll out in countries where DS’s rarities will be sold, and will be supported by a print campaign in France. In the coming months, it will also be extended to encompass two other DS limited-edition models.
The app will be available to both iPhone and Android users.
Asked whether there’s any incentive to downloading it, apart from the runaway hope of one day—perhaps years from now—encountering the hidden track, Marcel’s CCOs replied, “Customers will download this app to get a small chance to unlock exclusive content, but the real incentive is the joy of owning of a unique car—a car so exclusive that they have almost no chance of meeting the same one on the road. This app is the symbol of that.”
There you go. To be fair, if you’ve got room in your wallet for a limited-edition car named after a model (whose price point starts at a reasonable $26,200), you’ve probably got room to spare on your phone, too.
Advertiser: DS Automobiles
CEO: Yves Bonnefont
Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing: Arnaud Ribault
Head of Brand Content: Pénélope Yeatman Eiffel
Head of Communication: Xiaoyan Hua-Schwab
CEO: Charles Georges-Picot, Pascal Nessim
Creative Chariman: Anne de Maupeou
Chief Creative Officers: Dimitri Guerassimov, Fabien Teichner
Digital Creative Director: Lionel Bui
Art Directors: Clément Sechet, Margaux Marie
Copywriter: Antonin Jacquot
Head of Design: François Prost
Managing Partner & Chief Strategy Officer: Nicolas Levy
Strategic Planning: Séverine Bavon
Director of International Business: Alberto Scorticati
Group Account Director: Nathalie Do Dang Vinh
Account Director: Arthur Lenfant
Account Executive: Thibaud Muratyan
TV Producer: Cleo Ferenzi (Prodigious)
Film production: Standard
Director: Fabien Teichner
Producer: Julien Pasquier
Sound production: Prodigious
Music Artist: Empire of the Sun
Song: “On Our Way Home”